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Delhi ex-minister Somnath Bharti charged with molestation, creating ruckus

A chargesheet was filed against Delhi’s former law minister Somnath Bharti and 17 others for molestation and creating a ruckus during the January 16 midnight raid on a house in south Delhi, police said on Wednesday.

Delhi Police filed the chargesheet before Metropolitan Magistrate Chetna Singh on September 29.

The 18 accused are formally charged under 16 sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 153-A (promoting enmity between classes), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (outraging modesty of women), 509 (uttering any word or making any gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 147 (rioting).

Magistrate Singh Wednesday referred the matter to the chief metropolitan magistrate.

Police in over 100 pages of charge sheet has cited around 40 prosecution witnesses, including nine African woman.

The court had asked police on September 10 to file the final status report on the investigation.

Police lodged a first information report on January 19 against unknown accused on the court’s direction and booked them for various charges dealing with wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation and act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.

The court order came on a plea of a Ugandan woman who sought registration of an FIR against unknown people for creating a ruckus during the raid between 1 am and 3 am in Khirki Extension here on January 16 this year.

Advocate Rakesh Sherawat, appearing for the Ugandan woman, told the court that his client learnt through the media that the people taking part in the midnight raid were from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by Delhi’s then law minister Bharti.

However, Bharti was not named in the complaint.

The minister had gone to a house in Khirki Extension after receiving complaints about an alleged prostitution and drug racket in the area.

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