A year after the Supreme Court refrained from passing an unfavourable judgment against a former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer,declaring her to be surcharged and emotionally disturbed,the Delhi High Court was in for a shock when the 50-year-old woman tried to strip before a judge twice on Thursday.
Taken aback,Justice Ajit Bharihoke ordered the women constables in the court to take her to the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied sciences (IHBAS) for a complete mental check-up,before her next date of appearance.
The behaviour of the petitioner in baring herself in the open court is highly deplorable and it gives an impression that she is not mentally sound. It is not a solitary instance,but even in the post-lunch session she tried to indulge in the same act,which is not expected from a normal person, said Justice Bharihoke,who took up the matter twice during the day but to no avail.
The woman,Nisha Priya Bhatia,had hit the headlines earlier as well with her two attempts at suicide. In August 2008,she tried to commit suicide by consuming poison in front of the Prime Ministers Office in Delhi. She said she was forced to take the step as no action was taken against her male senior who she alleged had sexually harassed her. Bhatia had lodged a complaint against a joint secretary accusing him of sexual harassment,in 2007.
She had also filed a case in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) after the RAW sent her into compulsory retirement,saying her identity had become public and hence she could not discharge her duties. Her second suicide bid came in November 2009,when she tried to jump off the Tribunals building following an adverse interim order.
While the Supreme Court had dismissed her petition alleging sexual harassment in January last year,saying there was no merit in the case,the CAT in its final order had asked the RAW to reinstate her. The Union government,however,filed an appeal in the High Court against the CAT order and the matter is pending.
Bhatia has been booked under Section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) and she is currently being tried by the trial court.
Alleging that there was a deliberate attempt to adjourn matters pertaining to her suicide attempts,Bhatia had filed a writ petition in the High Court against two magistrates.
Justice Bharihoke was hearing this case when Bhatia,first at 10.45 am,started undressing. When she refused to listen,the judge put off the matter till after lunch and decided to hear it in-camera.
During the in-camera hearing at 2.30 pm,Bhatia repeated her act,compelling Justice Bharihoke to call police officials from Tilak Nagar to take her for a check-up. The matter has now been listed for February 28.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines