A CCTV footage, dated April 20, 2019, of a retired Madras High Court judge Nooty Ramamohana Rao, his wife and son torturing their daughter-in-law Sindhu Sharma are bound to give you goosebumps.
In the video, four people are seen– a younger couple and an older couple. All of them can be seen arguing. All of a sudden, the verbal spat turns violent after Vasista, Sindhu’s husband pushes her onto a couch and hits her.
As the woman gets up to respond, an old man tries to stop her by the arm and pushes her back onto the couch. He is seen aggressively speaking to her.
Another woman then enters the room. They drag the woman off the couch onto the floor, as her daughter watches on, helpless and confused. The woman’s other child also comes into the room to see what is happening, but her father tells her to go back to her room.
@mkatju there is some error in selecting good judges of moralRT @panditjipranam: In the video you can see the retired Chief Justice of Tamil Nadu Justice Nooty Ram Mohan Rao bashing and manhandling his daughter in law with the support of his wife and son. pic.twitter.com/E7LTVoXMy0
— aparna (@ntyaga) September 21, 2019
It’s disheartening rather shameful to see such horrid acts allegedly by the kin of a retired HC judge and to add insult to the injury, the judge is a willing participant himself. Justice Nooty Ramamohana Rao worked in the Hyderabad High Court and in the Madras High Court before he retired in 2017. In April this year, Sindhu Sharma had alleged that Justice (Retd) Ramamohana Rao, his wife Nooty Durga Jaya Laxmi, and their son – her husband Nooty Vasista – had beaten her up demanding dowry.
“My husband used to assault me frequently and make demands for dowry. But like in other abusive marriages, I would bear the violence. That night, my in-laws, kids and my husband had gone for a movie. They came back in the night and my husband came to the room upstairs where I was sleeping and started assaulting me, saying he wasn’t getting promoted in his job because of me,” a report by The News Minute quoted Sindhu Sharma.
Sindhu called for help. Her in-laws instead of helping, started assaulting her.
“They were all hitting me. Later, even the house help joined in. I was severely injured and they had to rush me to Apollo Hospitals in Jubilee Hills. In the car too, they verbally and physically attacked me. I had collapsed after the attack and they had to carry me on a stretcher,” read a report in The News Minute.
Things didn’t stop there. Such was the inhumanity of the in-laws and Sindhu’s husband that after taking her to the hospital, they made sure that she doesn’t reveal anything to the doctors.
They even went ahead and declared Sindhu a lunatic and claimed that she needed sedatives.
“My mother-in-law kept yelling that I am mad and I needed sedatives. My clothes had been torn and I asked them to give me something to cover my body, they put a bed sheet on me,” the report further quoted Sindhu.
According to the medico-legal case registered by Apollo Hospital that night, Sindhu had scratches over her chest on the left side, abrasions over her left breast and upper lip, and bruises over her right shoulder and her right forearm.
The CCTV footage strengthens Sindhu Sharma’s complaint that she had lodged with the Hyderabad police on 27th of April. In her complaint, Sindhu alleged physical and mental torture by her husband and in-laws over demand of dowry.
Sindhu, who has a B.Tech and an MBA degree had accessed the videos in April but decided to release them only now, after her husband filed for divorce. She says she did not want to leave her kids without the care of the father.
A case was registered against the former judge, his wife, son and their domestic help at the Central Crime Station (CCS) in Hyderabad on April 26. The case was filed under sections 498A (cruelty by husband and relatives), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Dowry Prohibition Act.
The judge’s family handed over Sindhu Sharma’s youngest child to her, and she got custody of her elder one only recently.
There have been various instances where women have misused their rights and created a ‘false narrative’ for domestic violence and even rape. Because of phony gender activists and fake domestic violence cases, genuine cases like this one get buried. It’s high time that voices like Sindhu Sharma are heard. Sindhu Sharma’s case goes on to prove that domestic violence at the hands of in-laws is still very much a horrible reality in India.