Footage of ex-Madras HC judge harassment goes viral

Footage of ex-Madras HC judge harassment goes viral

A screenshot from the video. Photo credit: DH

Days before the next hearing of the sensational harassment case of Sindhu Sharma, the daughter in law of retired Judge Nooty Ramamohan Rao, a CCTV footage has gone viral strengthening the prosecution’s version of severe physical and mental torture the mother of two girls has undergone in the hands of her in-laws Ramamohana Rao, Durga Jayalakshmi and husband Nooty Vasishta. Sindhu, who is an MBA, has been tortured for additional dowry by her in-laws.

The CCTV released by Sindhu, dated 20 April 2019 around 11 pm shows the older couple and the husband could be seen manhandling the younger lady (Sindhu) all the while her child was clinging on to her mother. The other child who entered the room was asked to leave the room. The footage grabbed through a camera focused in the drawing room of the house, shows the retired judge trying to strangle his daughter in-law who was pushed against a sofa. In another video that is making rounds in the social media, Sindhu was dragged out of the house, around midnight and was pushed into one of the two cars waiting outside the house.



The car then left for Apollo hospital, Sindhu told police narrating the assault. She said that Vasista used to abuse her demanding dowry but on that particular night all including the domestic help attacked her. As a result, she had scratches all over her upper body abrasions over her lip and left the breast. From the hospital, she went to her parents' house and on 26 April filed a case against her in-laws. “At the hospital, they saw to it that I didn’t tell the real story to people. They tried to project me as a mad woman hurting myself,” she told the police.

Her fight for the custody of her two daughters was widely published at that time; she even sat on a dharna in front of her in-laws house here. While Sindhu got custody of her younger daughter first, it was only after much struggle and intervention of the child welfare department she was united with her other daughter.

Justice Nooty worked in the Hyderabad High Court and in the Madras High Court before he retired in 2017 while serving at Chennai High court.  The former judge and family were booked under sections 498A (cruelty by husband and relatives), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code and Dowry Prohibition Act. The next hearing is scheduled for September 23.

Equipped with the new CCTV footage the police are hoping to slap 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) or 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC can be added to the other sections under which the Nooty family is booked.