The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) continues to be in the news for all the wrong reasons. The party's controversial lawmaker – former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti – was back in the limelight on Wednesday over a domestic violence complaint against him.
Media reports said that Bharti's wife Lipika Mitra has accused him of domestic violence and mental torture. She has filed a complaint with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) alleging assault and domestic violence by the AAP MLA.
Later in the evening, Lipika Mitra also visited the Delhi Police headquarters to meet some senior police officials regarding her complaint against her legislator husband.
According to a report in The Times of India, Bharti was on Wednesday served notices by the DCW. DCW chairperson Barkha Shukla Singh reportedly said that Bharti has been asked to reply to the notice by 26 June.
According to reports, Bharti's wife has alleged that she has been facing domestic violence since 2010.
"Me and my children are subject to harassment and torture -mental, physical and oral - by my husband Somnath Bharti... There is a persistent threat from my husband and his supporters," The TOI reported citing Lipika's complaint.
"Can't explain in a couple of words, it's been going on since 2010. I want out (sic) from this marriage," ANI tweeted quoting Lipika. "Want separation & to live with my children with dignity," she said.
"She approached us this afternoon and lodged a complaint alleging assault and domestic violence by her husband Somnath Bharti since 2010. We have issued notices to Bharti asking him to appear before us by June 26. She now wants an end to the torture," the TOI quoted the DCW chief as saying.
The DCW chief said that Lipika has been living in Dwarka separately for last three years and Bharti used to visit her.
Bharti denies charges
Bharti, who also happens to be a senior advocate, reacted to the reports on Twitter from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, saying the charges against him were baseless.
"I m in kerala 4 party work n shocked 2 learn 4m TV abt wife's complaint. Deeply pained 2 know that my wife hs gone public w family matter," Bharti tweeted as @attorneybharti.
"Allegations of domestic violence if any are baseless n inconceivable. I love my wife n my little children. I urge media 2 respect my privacy," he posted next on Twitter.
Even Bharti's party reacted to the reports cautiously. ANI quoted AAP leader Dilip Pandey as saying that the party "will conduct investigation on our level in this case".
Bharti is an MLA from Delhi's Malviya Nagar constituency. He held law ministry in Arvind Kejriwal's first government that was in power for just 49 days. He had earlier shot to news after leading a midnight raid in South Delhi's Khirki Extension area targeting some African women. The women had alleged humiliation and inhuman treatment by the then minister and his men during their frisking and search of their houses.
The AAP has already been in news since the arrest of Jitendar Singh Tomar, who had to resign as Delhi's law minister on Tuesday following his arrest in a fake degree case. The Delhi Police have taken him in four-day remand to probe into the charges of cheating and forgery against the AAP lawmaker.