"Their passports, visas could be revoked after a complaint."
New laws in India governing marriages of Non-Resident Indian with a person from India require the marriage to be registered with the Women and Child Development Ministry (WCD). The change applies to every NRI marriage in India.
Therefore, the law will be applicable to any British, American, Canadian, Australian born Indians who are seeking to marry in India.
The legislation has been introduced to tackle the huge rise in abandoned wives by men from abroad marrying the women, taking dowries and leaving the country, not to be seen again.
The WCD Ministry will be keeping a database of all married NRI grooms. Every marriage with an NRI man will be required to be registered within 48 hours of a marriage ceremony taking place.
A website will be made available to register your marriage if you marry a woman from India.
At the moment, a number of Indian states such as Punjab, the first state to introduce the scheme, require you to register NRI marriages on a compulsory basis.
Punjab has one of the highest cases of abandoned wives in India.
Now, the legal requirement will apply across the country and is not limited to just a few states.
The 48-hour registration deadline will need to be met, otherwise, the passport/visas for the NRI men will not be issued.
Maneka Gandhi WCD minister said:
“Passport and visas will not be issued if the marriage is not registered within 48 hours.”
Speaking about the reasons why the changes are being introduced, she said:
“There have been innumerable instances of young Indian girls who are abused by NRIs after marriage.
They are sometimes abandoned right after marriage. We want to ensure that the NRI husbands cannot escape the country without being answerable.
“Their passports, visas could be revoked after a complaint.”
Th WCD Ministry together with the Law Ministry and Ministry of External Affairs are working together to ensure the new laws are followed along with appropriate punishment for offenders, who do not register an NRI marriage.
Stringent punishment mechanisms are to be enforced by the Law Ministry and the MEA will be responsible for a database of NRI passports.
The NRI marriage registrars will need to send the details of the marriage to the WCD Ministry and the onus will be on them to do so. Otherwise, their record will not be stored on the central database.
Women who have a complaint to file against an estranged NRI husband can contact the WCD Ministry to trace the man by having a LoC (Look of Notice) issued against him.
NRI Matrimonial Dispute has become a major issue in India to resolve for women abandoned.
An Integrated Nodal Agency (INA) was created under the chairpersonship of Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) to work on the problems. The INA is creating Statement of Purpose (SOP) that will enable the women facing such disputes to get them addressed in a timely manner.
The trend of NRI men ‘dumping’ women they marry in India has been down to them taking advantage of the lenient laws in foreign countries to obtain divorces from courts in they are from.
This results in them leaving the married women with no kind of financial support or maintenance and the women only find out they have been divorced when they are notified by court notices from the foreign court. Leaving them with little or no rights.
As an example, in May 2018, five passports for NRI men were revoked by the MEA who had Look-out-Circulars (LoC) issued against them by the Integrated Nodal Agency (INA).
Showing that the Indian government are not going to allow the practice of an NRI marriage which is a sham conducted only for the advantage of, especially, NRI men, to continue as in the past.