Somnath Bharti’s police custody extended till October 4

New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) A court here on Thursday extended, till October 4, the police custody of Aam Aadmi Party leader Somnath Bharti, arrested in a domestic violence case registered by his wife.

Metropolitan Magistrate Manika allowed Delhi Police to quiz the former state law minister for another three days.

Delhi Police, while seeking further custody, told the court the efforts were made to recover jewellery and a knife but they could not be found, and it is suspected that Bharti might had taken these materials with him while he was evading arrest.

Police also added that they are trying to identify the people who had helped to harbour him and a case had already been registered on this matter.

Special Public Prosecutor Shailendra Babbar told the magistrate that it was learnt that Bharti took shelter with Bane Singh and Lal Singh, a man wanted in various cases in Delhi, while hiding in Uttar Pradesh.

The prosecutor also told court that Bharti’s dog has been examined.

However Bharti opposed the plea claiming that an assistant commissioner of police had disrobed him, asking him to remove his kurta during his questioning. He requested the court to ban this officer from questioning him.

Bharti’s counsel, advocate Vijay Aggarwal apprised court that Supreme Court had asked Bharti’s wife Lipika Mitra to appear before it on Monday for mediation.

However, police told court that they have no problem if she opts for mediation but since the case has been registered, they had to investigate it properly and hence custody is required.

Bharti, who surrendered to police on Monday evening and was arrested, was named in an FIR filed on September 10 following a June 10 complaint by his wife, who said he had been abusing her since their marriage in 2010.

She claimed he used to beat and torture her and once even tried to kill her.

Bharti, who was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to attempt to murder, cruelty towards wife, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapon, criminal breach of trust, attempt to cause miscarriage without woman’s consent, cheating and criminal intimidation, was on the run soon after police registered an FIR against him.

He made a sudden appearance in the early hours on September 16 at a city police station after the high court granted him interim protection.

On September 22, a Delhi court rejected his anticipatory bail and thereafter he was avoiding arrest. A magistrate court on September 14 issued a non-bailable warrant against Bharti.

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