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Law rescues abused live-in partner


Marya Shakil,CNN-IBN
Jun 29, 2007 at 04:09pm IST

“He came, met mom. He said he is in for a committed relationship and would like me to come and stay with him in Bangkok. i didn’t see any problem in our relationship. But later, often he would lie about travel plans. I got pregnant, he said he was too old to have a baby now. I admired him a lot, never thought he was capable of doing anything like this.”

New Delhi: After months of enduring lies, deceit and harassment, 36-year-old Sheeba Chowdhry decided to file a case against Dr Amitava Mukherjee in December last year.

And now, a lower court has ruled in her favour. According to the court, "the petitioner has stated in her petition that the respondent has admitted her as his wife and applied sindoor (red powder indicative of Hindu matrimony) in her maang (parting in the hair). This is emotional abuse by the respondent towards the petitioner. From the material placed on record, it is my considered view that petitioner is subjected to domestic violence as defined under Section 3 of the Act."

The court has directed Mukherjee to pay Rs 1.5 lakh as compensation to Sheeba. But legal experts feel the law can easily be misinterpreted, making it difficult for men to walk out of a sour relationship.

“It’s not like it’s the first time mental violence has been mentioned. It was there in the previous act as well but not so much in scope. Now it’s mental, physical, even financial. Which personally I think is quite far-reaching and believe that it will soon be limited. When, I don’t know,” says Supreme Court advocate Pinky Anand.

(Inputs from Divya Iyer)

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