Matrimonial Disputes

Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi at Parliament. The Women and Child Development Ministry has praised new initiatives to bring to justice NRI husbands who abandon their wives. (IANS photo)

NEW DELHI — In order to create a stronger deterrent for NRIs who have abandon their wives in India, the Ministry of External Affairs will now display the summons to such men on their official website, an official said June 13.

The decision was taken among other legal solutions for redressing the issues faced by women in NRI marriages at a meeting of the Group of Ministers, under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and attended by officials from the External Affairs, Law and Justice and Women and Child Development Ministry. 

"We are grateful to Rajnath Singh, (External Affairs Minister) Sushma Swaraj and Ravi Shankar Prasad for enumerating fine details on ways to resolve the issue of NRI marriages," said the Women and Child Development Ministry in a tweet.

"We are working towards putting in place an efficient mechanism that will provide immediate relief to women in troubled NRI marriages," it added.

However, according to sources, the Law Ministry previously did not approve of displaying the summons of NRI marriages on the MEA website and also clashed with the Women and Child Development Ministry over impounding the passports and confiscating the property of those NRI husbands who have been found guilty of deserting their wives and have failed to appear in the court.

Last month, the External Affairs Ministry revoked the passports of five NRIs against whom Look-out-Circulars were issued by Integrated Nodal Agency – an inter-ministerial body headed by Women and Child Development Secretary Rakesh Srivastava, formed to deal with matrimonial disputes.

The Women and Child Development Ministry had earlier said that it has received 40 cases related to matrimonial disputes relating to NRIs, of which six were found to be serious and LoC issued.

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi also pitched for issuing orders for registering NRI marriages with 48 hours or the visa or passport of the husbands will not be issued.

According to the ministry, in criminal matters involving NRIs, the LoC can be issued by the investigating agency in cognizable offenses when the overseas husband is deliberately evading arrest or not appearing in trial court despite non-bailable warrants and other coercive measures, or there is a likelihood that he will leave the country to evade trial or arrest.

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