Thursday, August 5, 2021
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If you have done this, then Shame on you Somnath Bharti

As many as 50 officers and eight police teams are part of a manhunt for AAP MLA and former Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti, who is facing charges of domestic violence and attempt to murder, made by his wife Lipika Mitra. The former minister’s assistant and another person were detained by police for questioning but released later on. Minutes after the Delhi High Court dismissed Bharti’s anticipatory bail plea, two special teams of south-west district police carried out raids at both his office and residence in Malviya Nagar, but the lawmaker remained elusive. Bharti was under technical surveillance and investigators were tracking his movements, but then he switched off his cell phone and gone untraceable. If Bharti is really involved in domestic violence then running away from the law is his grave mistake. He is a politician, he should have given priority to his family where he should begin governance and show tolerance. However, he has failed in it. He should better quit as an MLA and surrender himself to the police. It is meaningless to go to SC and again face rejection. Moments after the Delhi High Court turned down his bail application; Bharti accused the Delhi Police of deliberately trying to malign his image and added that he will not surrender till the matter is decided by the Supreme Court.

Bharti alleges that Delhi Police is working on behest of its political masters. Their aim from the beginning has been to arrest him and malign his reputation. Now, he will exercise all legal remedies available with him before deciding on the next step. As the high court has rejected his bail plea, he could be arrested anytime. Bharti is hiding as he wants further legal stems before he goes through arrest and harassment. The entire episode also raises many questions on Lipika’s integrity too.

Bharti is an Indian lawyer who has become a politician representing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). As a lawyer, he practiced at the Supreme Court of India and Delhi High Court. He was elected as the AAP candidate for the Malviya Nagar constituency in the Delhi state assembly elections, 2013 and was Minister of Law, Tourism, Administrative Reforms, Art & Culture in the Government of Delhi, from 28 December 2013 to 14 February 2014, at which time the AAP government resigned. In the 2000s, Somnath Bharti ran a Delhi-based IT firm. The Spamhaus Project accused him of spamming on behalf of TopSites LLC, naming him in Register of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO) as one of the top spam operators in the world. According to Bharti, he was listed in ROKSO after an Open Directory Project editor Conrad Longmore ran a story on him. Responding to a PCQuest investigation in 2005, he insisted that all the e-mails sent by his company complied with the laws and regulations. PCQuest found that he had been sued in a California Superior Court for spamming by Daniel Balsam. Balsam’s attorney Timothy Walton revealed that in 2004, Bharti and two others had paid Balsam in damages apart from making a court declaration agreeing to use only confirmed opt-in e-mail addresses when sending commercial e-mails. Bharti defended himself by saying that he chose to settle because defending the case in the United States would have been costlier for him.

In June 2012, Bharti was involved in a campaign against the alleged interference of the then Minister of Human Resources and Development, Kapil Sibal, in the Joint Entrance Examination process for admission to Indian Institutes of Technology. In 2010-2013, he appeared in news for defending the rights of homeschooled children and subscribers of alternate education system in view of the binding provision of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act through Public Interest Litigations filed in Delhi High Court thrice. In response to his PILs, the Ministry of Human Resources and Development, through an affidavit, clarified that they are not against homeschooling. In 2009, Bharti represented Vikram Buddhi. He led a movement against the abeyance of sentencing of Buddhi in the USA. Patiala House Court had in 2013 indicted Bharti for “tampering with evidence” along with his client, Pawan Kumar, in a corruption case. He was asked by the Bar Council of Delhi to explain why he should not be disbarred.

Bharti was the Aam Aadmi Party candidate for the Malviya Nagar constituency in the Delhi state assembly elections; 2013. Bharti was briefly Minister of Law, Tourism, Administrative Reforms, Art & Culture in the Government of Delhi. In January 2014, during his time in office, Bharti revealed the identity of a Danish tourist who had been raped, despite such identification being illegal in India. The government’s resignation, led by Arvind Kejriwal, pre-empted a personal resignation by Bharti in response to accusations of vigilantism.

On 10 September 2015, Bharti was arrested on a domestic abuse case after his wife alleged he beat her for a prolonged period. A non-bailable warrant was also issued against him by a Delhi High Court. The Delhi High Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea and is currently absconding from arrest. Let’s see what will happen to him further.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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