A shocking CCTV footage of domestic violence has surfaced. In the video, retired Hyderabad High Court Justice Nooty Ramamohana Rao, his wife and his son can be seen harassing their daughter-in-law over dowry. 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.
Daughter-in-law of retired High Court Judge said, "All 3 of them attacked me."
"My husband used to assault me frequently and make demands for dowry. Like 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 at 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," she said.
When the abuse became severe, she yelled for help. Sindhu alleges that her in-laws, who rushed into the room, started assaulting her, instead of helping her.
"They were all hitting me. Later, even the househelp 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," she said.
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 father-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 a dharna outside their house. I wanted my children back," recalled Sindhu, who holds a B.Tech and an MBA degree.
According to the video, the incident occurred post 11 pm on April 20, 2019.
#Hyderabad#Dowry harassment allegations against A former #Judge of the Hyderabad and Madras High Court and his family. his daughter-in-law shares chilling #CCTV footage of alleged harassment as an evidence.@indiatvnews— T Raghavan (@NewsRaghav) September 21, 2019
Video by @SirisalaV pic.twitter.com/RO2DCH3zU5
Four people seen in the video are - a younger couple and an older couple, all arguing.
Suddenly, the younger man violently pushes the woman – his wife – and hits her. He pushes her onto a couch. As the woman gets up to respond, an older man tries to stop her by the arm and pushes her back onto the couch. He is seen scolding her aggressively.
Meanwhile, a toddler seen in the video clutches at her mother’s leg. Another woman then enters the room and they drag the younger woman off the couch onto the floor, as her daughter watches on, helpless and confused.
The woman's other child also enters the room, but her father tells her to go back to her room.
On April 26, a case was filed against the former judge, his wife, son and their house help 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.
According to Police, "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 charge sheet, but now that these videos have surfaced, we will go ahead and submit the same in court and proceed with the investigation."
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.
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.