By now it is common news that IAS officer Smita Sabharwal has served a notice on Outlook magazine for making a mockery of her position — her “portfolio was a mystery” and that “she served as eye candy at meetings” — but few know about the woman who is fighting it out for Sabharwal. Meet advocate Rachna Reddy Bollu.
Originally from Nizamabad, Rachna was born and brought up in Hyderabad. “After my schooling from St Ann’s High School, I did my BA from St Francis Degree College. That was followed by LLB from ILS Law College Pune and then LLM from UCLA, USA,” says Rachna. While Rachna has been practising law for the past 10 years, this is the first time that she is representing Smita.
“Smita was introduced to me through a client and that’s how I met her,” she says. Rachna moved back to the city a few years back after practising law in the US for five years. “After that, I taught at Nalsar for three years and I then practised law,” says the mother of a one-year-old.
And what motivated Rachna to take up the case was the fact that such discrimination takes place in all professional fields even today. “It just irks me that people base professional competence on the way you dress. Smita is a thorough professional and how she dresses when she is with family is none of anyone’s business,” she says, adding, “Has anyone ever spoken like this about a male bureaucrat? Just because this is a woman officer here, doesn’t mean people can get away with saying whatever they want.”