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Somnath Bharti fails to appear before women's panel

New Delhi, Jan 24 : Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti Friday failed to appear before the state women's panel probing his controversial action against an alleged "sex and drugs ring" that involved African women.


The commission said they would report the matter to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung.

Bharti, who courted controversy after his action was described by many as a midnight raid, did not heed the summons of the Delhi Women Commission (DCW), but instead sent his lawyers as representatives.

As the media was also present, an argument between the DCW members and the two lawyers was beamed live on national television.

Barkha Singh, who heads the commission, told the media: "We wanted to talk to Bharti and if he was not appearing before us, then he should have informed us. We will inform the LG about the matter."

The two lawyers said the minister would appear before them Monday and also argued that Bharti has given them power of attorney to present his case.

But the panel members refused to talk to them.

Bharti had failed to respond to two previous notices by the women's panel.

The law minister alongwith Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers had raided Jan 16 some homes of African nationals in south Delhi for allegedly running "sex and drug racket". The minister said he took the action following representations made by the resident welfare association.

Kejriwal defended Bharti and also held a sit-in in the heart of Delhi for over 30 hours demanding action against those policemen who did not heed his minister. Kejriwal ended his protest after Jung appealed to him and also sent the two policemen on leave.

--IANS (Posted on 24-01-2014)

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