Upset over adjournments, former RAW official attempts to strip before judge

Nisha Bhatia who had earlier accused the top brass of RAW of sexual harassment is facing charges in an illegal human trafficking case

deevakar

Deevakar Anand | January 20, 2011



Frustrated by continuous adjpournments in an illegal human trafficking case against her, a former senior officer with Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Nisha Bhatia on Thursday attempted to strip before Delhi high court judge Ajit Bharihoke inside his courtroom before she was restrained by police offcials present.

Bharihoke asked the police to take Bhatia into custody and decided to conduct in-camera proceedings in the furture over her complaint. He later directed that she should undergo a mental health check-up at a government facility.

Bhatia alleges she has been implicated in the case falsely by her seniors who wanted to get even with her after she lodged sexual harassment complaint against them in August 2008.

On Aug 19, 2008, in a bid to commit suicide she had consumed poison in front of the prime minister’s office (PMO) alleging that her complaints were being ignored. The very next day, she was removed from the RAW’s training institute in Gurgaon where she was the director and was asked to report at the headquarters.

She had accused the RAW topguns, including a joint secretary-level officer of the sexual harassment. She had alleged that the former RAW director Ashok Chaturvedi not only turned a deaf ear to her complaints but also taunted her in a vulgar way. 

After Bhatia's suicide attempt, 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But Bhatia had withdrawn her complaint, it had said, adding she was given several opportunities to present her case, but she refused to cooperate with the committee.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 (AIIMS) 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.

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

With inputs from PTI

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