‘They Beat Me Really Hard’: Daughter-In-Law of Retired HC Judge
Sindhu Sharma speaks about harassment allegedly by retired High Court Justice Ramamohana Rao, his wife, son.
Video Editor: Mohd Irshad
Reporter: Smitha TK
“Let everyone know how rudely they have behaved with me. It is not only about ‘Sindhu’. It is about each woman who is suffering, and letting them fight for their justice.”Sindhu Sharma
Sindhu Sharma, daughter-in-law of retired High Court Justice Nooty Ram Mohan Rao, released shocking CCTV footage which shows her father- and mother-in-law and her husband physically assaulting her. She had filed a complaint earlier this year, in April, alleging the three had beaten her demanding dowry. She has decided to reveal the CCTV footage now, in order to prove the complaint she had lodged and to urge the police to take forward her case.
Sindhu spoke to The Quint about the abuse she suffered at their hands, the difficulty she faced to find a lawyer, and what she wants for herself and her children.
A source close to the family, however, said, “All videos shown are doctored and fabricated. The original videos need to be revealed.”
The Violent Encounter
The incident took place on 20 April.
Sindhu’s husband allegedly entered the room and began to beat her. When she cried for help, her in-laws joined in. She had to be rushed to Apollo Hospital in Jubilee Hills. As per the medico-legal case registered by Apollo Hospital on that night, Sindhu had abrasions on her left breast and upper lip, nail-marks on her chest, right shoulder, and right forearm, and multiple bruises.
She returned to her parents’ house on 26 April. “I didn’t file a complaint thinking my husband will realise his mistake, come back to me and give me my kids but he didn’t,” she said. The couple have two children together, aged four and two.
Sindhu then filed a case against the former judge, his wife, her husband 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 IPC and Dowry Prohibition Act.
In a desperate attempt to get back her children, she sat on protest outside their house and demanded justice. The judge’s family handed her the youngest child.
“The next day I went to meet him at a place and thought he will return my other child. When they didn’t, I filed a Habeas Corpus and the court decided I can keep the children with me,” she said.
‘Think They Can Buy Anyone With Money’
Sindhu said that the family has been abusing her for years, starting from the family allegedly demanding a lavish wedding as well as dowry.
“My father did everything. He did the whole wedding. He took such a big burden on him thinking his daughter is going into a judiciary family. Whatever their demands were, they were fulfilled. They didn’t spend even a penny on the marriage. Now my husband wants an Audi or BMW which is 60-70 lakh and my father said he is not in a position to spend so much for a car and give,” she said.
“They are thinking that they have a lot of money that they can buy anyone. They can manage anyone with money and their status and they have beaten me so hard. I have all the CCTV footage. But I didn’t want to reveal because my intention is not to punish them. It doesn’t serve my purpose. The point is my kids need a father and a mother.”Sindhu Sharma
Appeal to Police to Take Her Case Seriously
Sindhu’s intent behind the disclosure of the CCTV footage is to nudge the police to take her case seriously.
“I was asking the police to see the DVR (CCTV footage) and reveal it, which showed proof. We are in September but as of date nothing has happened,” she said. “They want my kids back and they want to divorce him so that he can remarry.”
“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,” said ACP K Sreedevi, Assistant Commissioner of Police, as reported by The News Minute.
Sindhu was confronted with the challenge of not being able to get an advocate to fight her case because of the influential position her father-in-law holds.
As of now, the next hearing in her case is scheduled for 23 September.
Waited For Her Kids’ Sake
Why release the CCTV footage five months after the initial complaint?
Sindhu clarified that she always hoped her husband would understand and be willing to reconcile with her. “I have two kids and for their sake I have been adjusting,” she said.
“People were thinking something was fishy saying why should he (Ramamohana Rao) hit that girl,” she added.
When she found her husband had filed for divorced, she was shocked. It served as the final push for her to reveal the CCTV footage as proof and demand justice.
“If I wanted to divorce him, I could’ve done this before. It has been 6 and a half years... We need not be wife and husband but we can be good parents right?”Sindhu Sharma
“My intention is not they go behind bars. Let me get justice. I am not expecting money. I want my husband to come out of his house and let us lead our lives for the sake of our kids. I don’t want to stay with in laws because I don’t feel safe around them,” she clarified.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.