Midnight Raid: Court asks IO, DCP to get sanction against Somnath Bharti

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New Delhi, Jan 16: A Delhi court today issued notice to DCP and gave last chance to the investigating officer (IO) to get prosecution sanction against AAP leader Somnath Bharti in the case of alleged molestation of African women during his midnight raid here last year.

Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Ankita Lal posted the matter for hearing on March 27 after Delhi Police's IO informed the court that sanction to prosecute Bharti is still awaited from the competent authority.

Midnight Raid: Court asks IO,DCP to get sanction against Bharti.
"I have perused the records. IO has moved an application seeking time to get prosecution sanction of proposed accused (Bharti) under provisions of law from competent authority. "In the interest of justice one last opportunity is given to get sanction by next date of hearing. Notice to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) concerned to expedite process in seeking the sanction," the magistrate said.

On being asked by the court about compliance of its last order of filing a reply on Bharti's plea for further probe in the case, IO Vijay Chandel requested for some time.

"IO seeks time to file a reply on plea of accused under section 173 (8) (further probe) of CrPC. One week time is granted to IO to file a reply," the court said.

During the brief hearing, Bharti, who appeared in person, contended that he is moving an application for contempt of court as IO has not filed its reply on his plea for further probe within one month time granted by the court.

To this the magistrate asked Bharti, "What is your locus standi in the case at this stage. Charge sheet has not been taken into consideration yet. You have not been summoned yet." Bharti submitted that he has locus standi in the case as it was his plea on which a court had ordered further probe with report to be submitted in one month's time.

"Since the proposed accused has not been summoned, he has no locus standi to move any application in the case at this stage. The application will be considered after cognizance of the chargesheet is taken until then his application is kept in abeyance," the magistrate said in her order.

The court, however, said that Bharti is at liberty to move his contempt plea before High Court in accordance with law.

Earlier, on November 13 last year, the court had directed the IO to appear before it with a reply on Bharti's plea for further probe in the case. 

PTI

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