Court frames charges of molestation against ex-Minister Somnath Bharti

Court frames charges of molestation against ex-Minister Somnath Bharti

A court has framed charges of molestation and trespass against Delhi’s former Law Minister Somnath Bharti, paving the way for trial in a case lodged after the Malviya Nagar MLA barged into the homes of nine Ugandan nationals in Khirki Extension, along with some followers, on the intervening night of January 15-16, 2014.

After Bharti and others pleaded not guilty and claimed trial, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Samar Vishal posted the matter to September 4 for recording the statement of the prosecution witnesses.

The Patiala House Court in Delhi had on June 29 ordered that charges be framed against Bharti and 16 others in the case.

The court framed charges against Bharti under various IPC sections, including rioting, molestation, wrongful confinement, outraging a woman’s modesty, assault and criminal trespass.

Bharti had alleged that he had received many complaints from residents of the area about a drug and prostitution ring being run by the Ugandan nationals. But no drug recovery was made that night. Two FIRs were filed against Bharti. He also had an altercation with the police.

The police chargesheet cited around 41 prosecution witnesses, including nine African women, to buttress the charges.

The police lodged an FIR on January 19, 2014 against unknown accused on the court’s direction and booked them for various charges.

The two Ugandan women had sought registration of an FIR against unknown people for creating a ruckus during the raid between 1 a.m and 3 a.m at Khirki Extension.