A Delhi court on Saturday closed a criminal defamation case against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Somnath Bharti filed by a woman journalist in 2018 after she accepted his apology before the judge. The complainant, Ranjana Sharma, had filed the case against Bharti for calling her names during a live television debate show in 2018.
Bharti submitted before the court that that on November 20, 2018 while he was on telephonic conferencing with the complainant, “he had made certain statements and those statements and his words were not directed towards the complainant, but if his words have hurt sentiments of the complainant in any way, he offers his sincere and deepest apology to the complainant”. After Bharti’s apology, the complainant, represented by advocate Yogesh Swaroop, agreed to compound the case.
“In view of the submissions made and statements of the parties recorded today, particularly statement of the complainant regarding compounding of the present complaint case against the accused, present complaint case stands disposed of as compounded, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sachin Gupta said. The court also noted that in the present case, the notice for offence punishable under section 500 of IPC was framed against the accused, which is compoundable in nature.
If convicted, Bharti could have faced a maximum of two-year jail term.