SC asks Somnath Bharti to surrender today

"We want him to surrender before <g data-gr-id="41">appropriate</g> jurisdiction of the police by this evening. We don't intend to pass any further order," a bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy said while posting the matter for hearing on Thursday.

The bench rejected the plea of his counsel and senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam that Bharti, who is absconding from <g data-gr-id="32">law</g>, be given time till tomorrow to surrender.

"No, we will not give time. If you want your matter to come on Thursday, you have to surrender today itself," the bench <g data-gr-id="46">said,</g> while rejecting a further request that he be given time till 7 pm to surrender.

Subramaniam submitted that the whole incident was an outcome of the matrimonial dispute in which, not only the <g data-gr-id="47">couple,</g> but their two children were also sufferers. The court should keep this in mind while hearing Bharti's appeal against the rejection of his anticipatory bail by the trial court and the Delhi High Court, he contended.

However, the bench said it was not concerned with the issue at this stage and asked how should Bharti conduct himself as a responsible citizen after <g data-gr-id="38">dismissal</g> of his plea before <g data-gr-id="39">trial</g> court and the High Court.

"Not to say you have lost before two courts (trial court and High Court). You went for anticipatory bail before the trial court, you did not succeed. You went for anticipatory bail before the High Court, you did not succeed. What is your duty as a responsible citizen," the bench asked.

"First you surrender, then we will see whether the matter should be referred to mediation <g data-gr-id="37">centre</g>. We want <g data-gr-id="33">family</g> dispute to be sorted <g data-gr-id="34">out</g> but we can't be saying that we will be protecting an absconder.

"We will find out from his wife whether she is ready to sit for mediation. We want families to live together. We don't want disruption in family life," the bench <g data-gr-id="43">said,</g> while making it clear it will not go into the merits of the matter unless Bharti surrenders. 
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