Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti, indicted by a court for "tampering of evidence" in a case he appeared as a defence lawyer, has informed the Bar Council of Delhi that he intends to surrender his licence to practice law.
Murari Tiwari, Secretary of Bar Council of Delhi (BCD), confirmed that Bharti's application was received last evening and the lawyer's body has asked for his enrolment certificate which is issued when a person is granted the licence to practice law.
"Right now by way of his application, received last evening, he has informed us that he intends to surrender his licence. The process would be complete when he hands over his enrolment certificate, which we have asked for. As soon as his enrolment certificate is received, his licence would be put in a suspended state," Tiwari said.
He said the licence can be revived later, once Bharti demits his full time office as Law Minister and wishes to return to the legal profession.
The move by Bharti came after BCD had decided to hear on January 20, BJP's Delhi unit chief Vijay Goel's complaint seeking disciplinary action against the Aam Aadmi Party leader for "tampering of evidence" in a case in which he had appeared as a lawyer and for which he has been indicted by a court.
On January 20, the BCD will also decide whether action needs to be taken against Bharti for his delay in surrendering the licence as the same was to be done the very moment he took up the full time job of Law Minister.
Goel has complained that in August, 2013, a special CBI court here had held Bharti's conduct as highly objectionable and unethical, besides also amounting to tampering of evidence, after he, as a defence lawyer in a corruption case, contacted a prosecution witness and attempted to bring on record an audio-recording of a conversation before the court.
The court had made these observations while cancelling the bail granted earlier to Bharti's client, facing trial in a graft case relating to bank fraud.