AAP leader Somnath Bharti accused of domestic violence by his wife Lipika Mitra surrendered before Delhi Police on Monday. Bharti, who was accompanied by his lawyers, reached the Dwarka North police station in his car at around 10.10 pm and made himself available to the police.
Wearing a red tee, Bharti flashed the Constitution of India(bare act) which he was carrying as a huge posse of media personnel mobbed his car. The FIR against the former Delhi Law Minister was registered at Dwarka North police station following a complaint by hsi wife Dipika Mitra.
“There was a warrant and I was availing legal remedies till the Honourable Supreme Court directed me to surrender. In compliance with the direction…I am here to surrender,” Bharti said, adding, “I was not running away from law. I was only availing the legal remedies guaranteed by the Constitution of India.”
A lawyer from Bharti said the legislator’s father was unwell and that is why he could not surrender by evening as directed by the apex court. Bharti was “avoiding” and not “evading” police, he added.
On Monday morning, Supreme Court had directed Bharti to surrender before the police in connection with the domestic violence and attempt to murder case filed against him by his wife.
“We want him to surrender before appropriate jurisdiction of the police by this evening. We don’t intend to pass any further order,” a bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy said while posting the matter for hearing on Thursday. The bench rejected the plea of his counsel and senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam that Bharti, who is absconding from law, be given time till tomorrow to surrender.
Hours before he surrendered before the police, Bharti had tweeted, “This too shall pass and truth shall prevail.”
The bench had said it was not concerned with the issue at this stage and asked how should Bharti conduct himself as a responsible citizen after dismissal of his plea before trial court and the High Court.
“First you surrender, then we will see whether the matter should be referred to mediation centre. We want family dispute to be sorted out but we can’t be saying that we will be protecting an absconder. We will find out from his wife whether she is ready to sit for mediation. We want families to live together. We don’t want disruption in family life,” the bench said, while making it clear it will not go into the merits of the matter unless Bharti surrenders.