Home >Politics >Policy >AAP’s Somnath Bharti gets women’s panel notice for domestic violence
A file photo of Somnath Bharti. Photo: Sonu Mehta/HT
A file photo of Somnath Bharti. Photo: Sonu Mehta/HT

AAP’s Somnath Bharti gets women’s panel notice for domestic violence

The two-time MLA of AAP has been asked to reply by 26 June

New Delhi: The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Wednesday served notice on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator and former law minister Somnath Bharti after his wife filed a complaint of domestic violence.

The two-time member of legislative assembly (MLA) of AAP has been asked to reply by 26 June.

“I cannot explain it in a couple of words; it has been going on since 2010. I want out from this marriage. I want to live with my children with dignity," complainant Lipika Mitra told reporters outside the DCW office.

Soon after the meeting, DCW chief Barkha Singh said the commission has asked Bharti to appear before it later this month.

This is not Bharti’s first run-in with the commission. Last year, DCW had summoned Bharti following complaints that a group he led misbehaved with a woman in Khirki Extension in January.

Bharti, who was then law minister in the AAP government, had alleged that African women living in the area were involved in illegal activities.

The complaint against Bharti comes just a day after AAP’s law minister Jitendra Singh Tomar was arrested by Delhi Police on charges of forging his law degree.

Tomar quit as minister following the arrest and will be in police custody for four days. Delhi Jal Board vice-chairman Kapil Mishra met chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday and was asked to take charge of the law ministry, which is vacant because of Tomar’s arrest.

Tomar was accused of cheating, forgery, forgery with purpose of cheating, and criminal conspiracy in the first information report registered at Hauz Khas police station in south Delhi.

Tomar’s arrest followed a police investigation into a complaint by the Bar Council of Delhi accusing the minister of obtaining a fake law degree from the Institute of Legal Studies College in Munger, Bihar.

Senior AAP leaders said the party was unaware of the troubled relations between Bharti and his wife.

“The party is sensitive to the issues related to women. This particular matter was never brought to the notice of the party. We have also come to know about it through the media," said Deepak Bajpai, spokesperson of AAP.

“Law should take its own course. Bharti is not in town, we are also trying to get in touch with him. He will address the issue once he is back in Delhi," he added.

Meanwhile, the Delhi unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the AAP of not being serious about issues concerning women’s security.

“People who cannot protect women in their homes, people who have little respect for women, cannot protect other women in Delhi," said Satish Upadhyay, president of the BJP in Delhi.

Political analysts say the repeated controversies and the ongoing acrimony with the central government is shifting the government’s focus from welfare work.

“There is a bitter battle going on between centre and the state government. Instead of concentrating on positives and working for the welfare of people, the two are at loggerheads," said N. Bhaskar Rao, founder-chairman of the Centre for Media Studies, a Delhi-based think tank

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