Ex-RAW official, who disrobed in court, suffering from paranoia

Monday, February 28, 2011

NEW DELHI - A former employee of India’s spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), who created a stir in the Delhi High Court last month when she partially stripped twice before the judge, has been diagnosed as suffering from a form of paranoia, the court was told Monday.

Submitting its report before Justice Ajit Bharihoke, the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) said 48-year-old Nisha Priya Bhatia cannot take a competent decision and is not suitable for a job, marriage, or drawing a will.

“Bhatia was well behaved during her entire stay in the hospital. There is no evidence of any of the well-defined and well-described entities of mental disorder like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or any other such major illness,” the IHBAS report said, adding that she has also no personality disorder.

However, the board was also of definite view that it also cannot be said that Bhatia had no mental health problem at all.

“The mental health problem is in area of her thought process being logical and reality based or otherwise, and the tendency for paranoid thinking in terms of being targeted or treated unfairly by individuals and system,” it said.

“She cannot cope with such situation or problems, specifically in long-term perspective with repeated negative experience with system. All things considered, her problem seems to match with a soft condition called ‘Paranoia Querulans’ or ‘Litigious Paranoia’,” it said.

Meanwhile, the medical board of IHBAS has recommended that Bhatia can benefit from counselling and regular contact with any mental health agency of her choice, although she has refused the suggestion.

The court Monday issued notice to Bhatia to appear before it March 28, after no one appeared on her behalf on the second call also.

Bhatia had attempted to disrobe twice Jan 21 while the court was hearing a petition filed by her seeking quashing of the attempt to suicide case against her pending in the court.

She had earlier levelled sexual harassment charges against a senior official in RAW.

Following the incident, the judge noted Bhatias “behaviour in baring herself in open court is highly deplorable and not expected of a normal person”. “It gives an impression that the petitioner is not mentally sound,” it said.

The judge said she even claimed she bared herself before Central Administrative Tribunal and the Supreme Court and that “she will continue to indulge in the act”. She is also stated to have attempted suicide in front of the PMs office. Considering her background, the court said: “It leaves a lingering doubt in the mind about her mental condition for which she needs to be medically examined”.

The court ordered that she be taken to IHBAS and admitted there for a complete check-up.

Bhatia was first examined on Feb 9 and secondly on Feb 23. However, she was discharged on Feb 18 on her request that someone from her family was ill and that she will appear before the hospital as per their direction.

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