The supreme authority will make sure, it seems, that law catches up with erring MLA Somnath Bharti.
The Aam Aadmi Party’s Somnath Bharti, who is wanted in an attempt to murder case filed by his wife, was ordered by the Supreme Court to surrender by 6 pm today. “If you are a responsible citizen, then don’t run away,” was the court’s stern message for Bharti.
“Surrender first and then come to court,” the court added, as it refused to protect Bharti from arrest and rejected his anticipatory bail plea.
Bharti had earlier been urged by his party chief Arvind Kejriwal to turn himself in and stop embarrassing his family and the party. Kejriwal’s admonition in public tweets indicated that he had all but dumped his once powerful minister and close aide, a man whom he had strongly defended in the past despite a controversial midnight raid targeting African women.
The 41-year-old AAP lawmaker has been accused of domestic violence and torture by his wife Lipika Mitra, whom he married in 2010. Lipika has also alleged that Bharti tried to kill her and ordered his dog to bite her when she was pregnant.
He has been dodging the police after two courts rejected his plea for anticipatory bail last week.
The Delhi Police has said that the lawmaker was changing locations and phones like a “common criminal” and getting professional help from a group of people with a crime record.
Bharti had also changed his appearance to escape detection, the police said.
The former law minister, who is also a lawyer, has been tracked down to places in Haryana and in Uttar Pradesh.