NEW DELHI: A special MP/MLA court in Delhi on Saturday sentenced Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Somnath Bharti to two years imprisonment for assaulting AIIMS security staff in a 2016 case.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey also imposed a fine of Rs 1 Lakh on the AAP leader. In the conviction judgement, the court said the prosecution has proved the case beyond all reasonable doubt against Bharti regarding charges of offence punishable U/s 323/353 read with Section 149 IPC and charge of offence punishable U/s 3 of The Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 and charge of offence punishable U/s 147 IPC read with Section 149 IPC.
“He is held guilty and convicted for the same”, said the magistrate. The offences carry a maximum punishment of five years in jail.
However, Bharti was granted bail to file an appeal before the High Court to challenge his conviction in the case and jail term. The magistrate noted that key witnesses specifically stated that accused Bharti was leading the mob, which broke the fence at the boundary wall of the AIIMS with the JCB machine as well as manually.
The prosecution had said that on September 9, 2016, Bharti, along with nearly 300 others, demolished the fence of a boundary wall at AIIMS in Delhi with a JCB operator.
The magistrate observed that Bharti’s defence did not hold any merit in view of the other corroborating evidence regarding the presence of JCB machine, instruction given by him to the driver for the JCB machine and manual action of the mob demolishing the fence.
The court noted that the injuries suffered by witnesses during the incident while protecting the demolition of fence and boundary wall of the AIIMS and due to stone pelting by the mob is also duly proved by prosecution.
However, the court acquitted Bharti’s associates and co-accused – Jagat Saini, Dileep Jha, Sandeep Sonu and Rakesh Pandey – due to lack of evidence. The case was registered following a complaint from RS Rawat, Chief Security Officer, AIIMS.
Bharti had submitted before the court that he was falsely implicated in the case by police officials and other witnesses, who deposed against him.