AAP MLA Somnath Bharti sentenced to 2 years in jail

Somnath Bharti.  

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Somnath Bharti was on Saturday sentenced to two years in jail by a Delhi court in a 2016 case of assaulting security staff at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and causing damage to hospital property, as per PTI reports. 

The court, however, granted bail to Bharti enable him to file an appeal before the High Court against his conviction in the case and jail term.

The AAP said that “injustice” had been meted out to him and the MLA would appeal against the decision. 

“We respect the judiciary and have full faith in the judiciary. However, we feel injustice has happened to Mr. Somnath Bharti in this case. Somnath is a very popular leader and is loved by everyone in his constituency. He works 24 hours for his people. People are quite sad in his constituency as the news of his conviction is spreading. Somnath is filing an appeal. We are confident that justice will be done to him at appellate level,” the AAP said in a statement. 

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey also imposed a fine of ₹1 lakh on the MLA. “The court is of the considered view that the prosecution has duly proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt against accused Somnath Bharti,” the magistrate was quoted saying by PTI.

According to the prosecution, on September 9, 2016, Mr. Bharti, along with nearly 300 others, brought down the fence of a boundary wall at the AIIMS with a machine.

The case was lodged on the basis of a complaint from R.S. Rawat, Chief Security Officer, AIIMS.

The court convicted Bharti for various offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 353 (assault or use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty) and 147 (rioting).

It also held the MLA guilty under Section 3 (mischief causing damage to public property) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. The offences carry a maximum punishment of five years in jail.

The court, however, acquitted Bharti’s associates and co-accused Jagat Saini, Dileep Jha, Sandeep Sonu and Rakesh Pandey, citing lack of evidence against them. 

(With inputs from PTI.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 10:27:52 AM |

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