Kejriwal defends Somnath Bharti over evidence tampering charge

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Somnath Bharti

File Photo- Somnath Bharti

NEW DELHI, JAN 14- Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti on Tuesday rubbished charges against him of tampering with evidence in a corruption case in August last year after chief minister and Aam Aadmi convener Arvind Kejriwal defended him earlier in the day.

“I was only adding to the evidence, not tampering with it,” Bharti said at a press conference in reply to the charges levelled against him. Bharti is facing allegations that he tried to influence a witness and tamper with evidence in a case he was handling last year. Both the Congress and the BJP are demanding his resignation in the matter.

Last year, Somnath Bharti was indicted by a CBI court in Delhi along with his client Pawan Kumar, who was facing corruption charges. The duo was also accused by the CBI of influencing a prosecution witness.

CBI special judge Poonam A Bamba had said, “The conduct of accused Pawan Kumar and his advocate (Bharti) is not only highly objectionable, unethical but also amounts to tampering with evidence.”

Defending Bharti, Delhi CM Kejriwal said, “We respect the judiciary of the country. But in this particular case, the observation of the court is wrong,” Kejriwal added.

Highlighting the details of the case, Kejriwal said, “I had a word with Somnath Bharti. We need to understand the case correctly. It was a case of a scam worth more than 100 crore rupees. The fraud was committed in a bank. Fake letters of credit were raised. Many officials of the bank were involved in this fraud.”

“But Pawan Kumar, who was a desk officer, was made the scapegoat by the CBI to save some big officers. So, Kumar conducted a sting and recorded the statements of these officials. Now, there is no tampering of the evidence in this case. The court termed the sting as tampering of the evidence. We are ready to give this recording to the media,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Bharti tweeted, “Will expose the CBI and its nexus to the hilt, wait for some time.”

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