Delhi MLA Somnath Bharti was booked Wednesday on charges of hurling abuses at a woman journalist, but the Aam Aadmi Party leader claimed the TV news channel was “misusing” its power.
The FIR against the AAP MLA was lodged in Noida on the complaint of the woman journalist of a private TV news channel, who accused him of calling her names, a police official said.
“During a live TV debate, the Malviya Nagar MLA, Somnath Bharti, hurled abuses at me and told me to become a prostitute,” said the journalist, who works as a news anchor with the TV channel, in her complaint to the police.
“I am a journalist and understand the responsibility while asking questions but he abused me and called me an agent of the BJP. He threatened to get our channel shut down. The kind of words he used for a woman were simply offensive and demeaning,” she alleged.
The complaint was lodged by the scribe at the Women Police Station in Noida and a First Information Report was registered against the MLA under sections 504 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, the official said.
While Section 504 of the IPC lists the offence of heaping “intentional insult with an intent to provoke breach of peace”, section 509 pertains to “insulting a woman’s modesty through words, gestures or an act,” he said.
Bharti said he had joined the TV show over phone to discuss the attack on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday, but the video was being presented with manipulation.
“I will file a defamation case against both the news anchor as well as the channel,” Bharti told PTI.
The AAP MLA, who previously courted controversies by resorting to a midnight “raid” against an alleged “sex racket” involving African women in Delhi and who is facing a case of domestic violence lodged by his wife, alleged that the news channel was working at the behest of the BJP.
“We were discussing the life-threatening attack on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Such cases show that the channel is part of the BJP and they are trying to distract people’s attention from main issues,” he claimed.