इंडियन आवाज़     26 Sep 2023 07:19:22      انڈین آواز

Experts for steps to check fraud in NRI marriages

The Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, Girija Vyas while initiating the discussions at a national seminar on ‘Issues Relating to NRI Marriages’ here on Tuesday suggested the need for compulsory registration of marriages in India. The consensus at the seminar was for overall changes in the relevant laws.

“There is a need for a separate legislation to address issues including matrimonial discord, maintenance of spouses and children, child custody, settlement of property. This can serve as a comprehensive ready reference for foreign courts deciding litigation between NRIs and Indian citizens,” said Ms Vyas.

She suggested the need for change in the process of issuing passports such as its cancellation pertaining to offending NRI spouse, detailed particular of spouse and photographs. Indian Government must become a member of the Hague Conference on Private International Law with a view to fight cases against NRIs who have cheated their spouses.

Under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1956, if both the parties are Hindus at the time of marriage, then the parties have to file divorce in the country of their origin that is India. The Committee on Empowerment of Women (2006-07) set for solving the problem drawn from the Supreme Court has suggested that any court abroad cannot dismiss the marriage solemnized in India and the alimony should be given to the girl.

“Section 498A is not acceptable worldwide and is taken as a joke by NRIs and legal experts in other countries,” she said.

She urged for formulating guidelines for the police and law enforcement agencies to deal with the cases, complaints arising out of NRI marriages including concealing of marital status by NRI grooms by using existing legal mechanism and procedures. Special cell should be set up for NRI marriages. FIR must be registered in the police cell specially created for such cases involving NRI marriages. Special cell should also be set up in Indian Missions in target countries.

If NRI marriages are solemnized in religious institutions, these institutions must be made to check the credentials of the groom and also issue certificate of marriage.

While Indian Missions abroad are assisting in giving legal aid to the aggrieved parties, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has been made a coordinating agency at the national level to receive and process all complaints relating to Indian women deserted by their overseas Indian husbands. The NCW has set up a NRI Cell on August 27, 2009 dealing exclusively matters relating to deserted Indian women by their overseas Indian husbands.

About 515 complaints have been received so far till December 31, 2010, out of which 416 are from India, 15 from US, 11 from Australia, 8 from UK, 6 from Thailand, 5 from UAE and the remaining from other countries.

In India maximum number of cases of wives deserted by their overseas husbands are Delhi, 68 followed by UP 42, Haryana 36, Punjab 27, Maharashtra 27, Gujarat 25, Andhra Pradesh 24 and 13 cases each from West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.    

The Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Krishna Tirath suggested that registration of marriage should also be done in the country where the spouse would live with her husband. Indian Missions abroad should help in the process.

While Prof VC Govind Raj of Indian Society of International Law emphasized the need for a concrete legislation, the additional secretary in the ministry of external affairs said that the prevention of fraud can be done by signing a pre-nuptial and affidavits should be signed by both parties and marriages performed in India would come under the jurisdiction of Indian courts.


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