Abandoned Wives

Punjab State Women's Commission Chairperson Manisha Gulati met with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to discuss the exploitation of Punjabi women, including wife abandonment, by NRIs. (Manisha Gulati Twitter photo)

CHANDIGARH — The Punjab State Women's Commission July 6 said over 30,000 legal cases pertaining to Non-Resident Indians from the state abandoning their wives are pending for disposal and urged the Center to enact laws to deter wife abandonment.

Commission Chairperson Manisha Gulati met Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi and raised the issue of the plight of these women who had "suffered due to betrayals and exploitation by NRI grooms."

Gulati said the minister assured her of necessary action. "More than 30,000 legal cases are pending in Punjab alone, in which NRIs presumably abandoned their wives. These exploited women need help immediately. 

"If the preliminary inquiry in India reveals that the NRI concerned is within the ambit of conviction, then his extradition process be initiated immediately and his passport confiscated till he compensates his aggrieved wife. 

"This bold decision will help save many lives in India, particularly in Punjab, and alert other NRIs who want to twist the law for their vested interest without fearing for its consequences," Gulati said.

Punjab has tens of thousands of NRIs settled in other countries, in particular the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

"The present and previous governments passed laws to protect women from exploitation by NRI grooms but somehow this exploitation hasn't been curtailed," the commission chief pointed out.

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