Chaos prevailed at Delhi Commission for Women’s office when Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti failed to appear before the panel and instead sent his lawyers to explain the charges against him.
His lawyers were then had a public spat with panel head Barkha Singh after she refused to entertain them.
Bharti had been summoned by the DCW following allegations that he led a group of AAP workers who misbehaved with a number of African women on the pretext of a raid on an alleged drug and prostitution ring in South Delhi last week.
His lawyers said that the Law Minister could not come due to “some urgencies”.
However, Barkha Singh refused to accept explanation offered by Bharti’s lawyers. The commission has now decided to report the matter to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung.
One of Bharti’s lawyers Rishikesh Kumar said Singh did not allow them to put across his point on the issue.
“I have been asked by Somnath Bharti to represent him in today’s proceeding. I came here at 3 PM and as I entered inside I saw many camerapersons were already present there. So I said that it’s already 3 o’clock and we have been sent by Bharti to represent him,” he said.
“We were told lawyers cannot represent. I said I have got the instructions. I have got the authorisation and can you please let me speak? Then she said no, you are a lawyer. But I kept saying that we have a humble submission. I told her that because of some urgencies Bharti might not be able to attend today’s hearing,” Kumar said.
However, Singh told: “We wanted to talk to Bharti and if he was not appearing before us, then he should have informed us. We will inform the LG about the matter.”
Trouble is brewing for the controversial Law Minister, who has been in the eye of the storm for his controversial action against an alleged “sex and drugs ring” that involved African women.
On January 16, Bharti, along with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers, had raided some homes of African nationals in south Delhi for allegedly running “sex and drug racket”. The minister said he took the action following representations made by the resident welfare association.
Notwithstanding calls demanding Bharti’s resignation, Kejriwal defended the Law Minister and also held a sit-in in the heart of Delhi for over 30 hours demanding action against those policemen, who did not heed his minister. Kejriwal ended his protest after Jung appealed to him and also sent the two policemen on leave.