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First arrest under new law
Man held for beating wife

Tirunelveli, October 28
In the first case under the newly-enforced Domestic Violence law in the country, a government employee was today arrested for allegedly torturing his wife at Melapalayam near here. He was booked under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, which was notified for implementation only a couple of days ago and provides for stiff punishment for husbands and live-in partners who harass their wives and companions.

The police said Tamil Nadu Water and Drainage Board (TWAD) employee Joseph (47) had on October 25 beaten up his wife Benedit Mary and attacked her with the sharp edge of an umbrella.

The woman suffered injuries in the nose and neck and was admitted to a nearby hospital, City Commissioner G. Umaganapathy Sastri told reporters.

The police registered a case under the Domestic Violence Act 2005 and IPC 324 (causing hurt by dangerous weapons). Joseph was remanded to judicial custody later in the day. Under the Act, Joseph may get imprisonment for up to a year and a fine of up to Rs 20,000, Mr Sastri said.

The police have also recommended to the TWAD to suspend Joseph from service.

Joseph and Mary, a secondary school teacher, have two daughters. They had been living separately since 2004 due to his drunken bouts and harassment. A few months ago, on the advice of Palayamkottai Police Inspector Mariaronickam, the couple reconciled.

But Joseph continued to drink and ill-treat her. He used to take away all her salary. He had assaulted her brutally on October 25 for not informing him about the money she had got for surrendering leave last month, Mr Sastri said.

Under the Act, wives, mothers, live-in partners, sisters, mothers-in-law or any woman with whom a man has a relation with are covered. The husband or male companion accused of violence against a woman will have to cough up Rs 20,000 as fine and can be imprisoned for any kind of violence or insult.

Ms Renuka Chowdhary, Minister for Women and Child Development, said she had discussed the matter with the Home Ministry to make the police force in the country more sensitive towards such complaints in the future.

The Ministry has simultaneously issued another notification, laying down the rules framed for the implementation of the Act. PTI, ANI

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