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Daughter-in-law of former Hyderabad HC judge alleges domestic violence, releases CCTV footage
Date: Sep 21 2019 Submitted By:   Admin

The horror that unfolded for Sindhu that night.....

Shocking CCTV footage of domestic violence, allegedly by retired Hyderabad High Court Justice Nooty Ramamohana Rao, his wife and his son, against his daughter-in-law has surfaced.

"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," Sindhu Sharma told.

Sindhu alleged that her in-laws, who came into the room hearing the commotion, started assaulting her instead of helping her. Later, when she had to be rushed to the hospital, her in-laws made out as if Sharma was mentally ill and had harmed herself, she claimed. Sharma added that her in-laws were only concerned about her telling anyone what occurred.

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.

Sindhu said that the doctors at the hospital helped her and did not entertain her mother-in-law's demands. "I went back to my parents' house and on April 26, I filed a police complaint. On April 27, I sat on dharna outside their house. I wanted my children back," recalled Sindhu, who has a B.Tech and an MBA degree.

The judge's family handed over Sindhu's youngest child to her, and she got custody of her elder one only recently.

A series of videos captured in the multiple CCTV cameras in the house shows the horror that unfolded for Sindhu that night.

One video shows the four adults in the family walking down a flight of stairs one by one. Sindhu is the last to get down, and looks disoriented. This is after her husband attacked her in the bedroom.

The other videos clearly document the assault.

At one point, the older man – believed to be Ramamohana Rao – grabs Sindhu by her hands and shakes her. Sindhu is also seen being dragged around in a drawing room, as two toddlers watch in shock. Vasista hits Sindhu and holds her by the collar at one point, when his mother and father intervene and pull him away. But soon, the older man himself grabs hold of Sindhu, and at one point, seems to strangles her.

On April 26, a case was filed against the former judge, his wife, son and their househelp at the Central Crime Station in Hyderabad. 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 and Dowry Prohibition Act.

With the videos emerging, the police believe they can build a stronger case against the family.

"What we have seen in the video, Sindhu Sharma already told us in her statement. But this will serve as documentary evidence. As far as the status of the case is concerned, only serving a notice under Section 41 CrPC to Nooty Ramamohana Rao was left. The next hearing is scheduled for September 23. We were planning to request the magistrate for orders to visit the accused's house and seize the CCTV footage, to help us while filing the chargesheet, but now that these videos have surfaced, we will go ahead and submit the same in court and proceed with the investigation," ACP K Sreedevi, Assistant Commissioner of Police, said.

"The police were hoping that new sections of 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 existing case," Srinivas Madagula, the complainant's uncle and a lawyer told.

Sindhu told that she 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, and that her in-laws had added to her vortex of trouble.

Ramamohana Rao was a senior judge who was transferred from the Hyderabad High Court in 2016 and had retired in August 2017 while serving at the Madras HC. He had also served at the Madurai bench of the Madras HC for a brief period.

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