New Delhi: A court in Delhi today sentenced Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti to two years in jail for assaulting the AIIMS security staff in a case registered in 2016. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey also imposed a fine of ₹ one lakh on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader.
Somnath Bharti, was however, granted bail to enable him to file an appeal before the high court against his conviction in the case and jail term.
On September 9, 2016, according to the prosecution, Somnath Bharti, along with nearly 300 others, brought down the fence of a boundary wall at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi with a JCB operator. The Judge added, “The court is of the considered view that the prosecution has duly proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt against accused Somnath Bharti.”
The court punished Somnath Bharti for various offenses 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 AAP MLA guilty under section 3 (mischief causing damage to public property) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. These offenses carry a maximum punishment of five years in jail. However, the court released Bharti's associates and co-accused — Jagat Saini, Dileep Jha, Sandeep Sonu and Rakesh Pandey — citing a lack of evidence against them.
The case was filed on the basis of a complaint from RS Rawat, Chief Security Officer, AIIMS. Somnath Bharti had told the court that police officials and other witnesses had deposed against him in order to falsely implicate him in the case.