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Former RAW official creates ruckus in Delhi high court

January 20, 2011 16:11 IST
A former woman intelligence officer belonging to the Research and Analysis Wing on Thursday created a ruckus in a courtroom in the Delhi high court, prompting the judge to order that she undergo a mental health check-up.

The incident occurred when Justice Ajit Bharihoke adjourned the hearing on a complaint filed by Nisha Priya Bhatia against additional chief metropolitan magistrate Ajay Pandey. Bhatia, who was in charge of the training cell of RAW, apparently flew into a rage on hearing the court's decision to defer the hearing during its forenoon session and took off her jacket.

"She has created a ruckus inside the courtroom. I will hear her matter in the post lunch-sessions in a closed door proceeding," Justice Bharihoke said.

The judge asked the police to take her into custody and decided to conduct in-camera proceedings in future over her complaint.

"I will send her to jail. She has also created a lot of problem in the court of the ACMM; I think she is a mentally deranged woman," the court remarked, when a woman lawyer pleaded that she be allowed to pick up her daughter from her school.

Bhatia had earlier in August 2008 tried to commit suicide outside the Prime Minister's Office and had also been termed as mentally unstable by the Union government's cabinet secretariat.

Earlier, Bhatia had also filed a sexual harassment case against her former senior colleague in RAW Ashok Chaturvedi and had alleged later in various courts that no action was taken on her complaint. She alleged that she had been framed up in various criminal cases.

After Bhatia had attempted to commit suicide outside the PMO, a cabinet secretariat press release issued on August 19, 2008, had said that while working as a director in the secretariat in 2007, Bhatia had lodged a complaint alleging sexual harassment by her joint secretary.

The release had said the complaint was enquired into by a complaint committee constituted as per apex court guidelines. But Bhatia had withdrawn her complaint, it had said, adding she was given several opportunities to present her case, but she refused to cooperate with the committee.

Despite this, the committee completed its probe on May 19, 2008 and found that her allegations could not be substantiated. The committee had also found that her behaviour on a number of occasions appeared to indicate a disturbed state of mind and had recommended medical counselling for her, the release had pointed out.

It had further said that a number of complaints were also received from different RAW officers against Bhatia for making unauthorised communication and contact with media, indulging in insubordination and also sending objectionable and offensive SMSes to senior government officials.

"Based on examination of reports of her erratic behaviour, a senior medical officer of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences opined presence of a psychiatric illness' in her and advised psychiatric opinion to assess her

condition," the release had said, adding that Bhatia, however, had refused to undergo medical counselling.

As the cabinet secretariat ordered a probe into complaints against her and informed her of the decision on August 19, 2008, she went to the PMO and attempted suicide there.

Bhatia later had also approached the Supreme Court with her complaint of sexual harassment by her superior officers, but the apex court had dismissed it saying "no merit" was found in the case. The judge later directed that she should undergo a mental health check-up at a government facility.

 

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