In the first case under the newly-enforced Domestic Violence Act in the country, a government employee was on Saturday arrested for allegedly torturing his wife at Melapalayam near Tirunelveli.
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.
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 bleeding injuries in the nose and neck and was admitted to a nearby hospital, City Commissioner G Umaganapathy Sastri told reporters.
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, Sastri said.
Police have also recommended to the TWAD to suspend him 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 illtreat her. He used to take away all her salary. He had assaulted her brutally on October 25 for not informing him about money she had got for surrendering leave last month, Sastri said.