"The panel believes this will facilitate the extradition of NRI spouses to India for trial."
NRI husbands may soon deal with tough punishments if they abuse and eventually abandon their Indian wives. They could face their passports becoming cancelled.
This comes as part of new proposals designed by a committee, keen to secure the rights of women who face such treatment. Not only do they hope it will provide justice. But to also act as a deterrent.
Over the years, some Indian wives have experienced abuse at the hands of their NRI husbands. They can even witness their partner deserting them and moving away to a different country.
As a result, a committee became established in May 2017 with the aim of tackling the legal issues surrounding this type of abandonment.
They proposed a series of punishments to confront this problem. Addressing the Central government, the committee stated:
“The panel believes this will facilitate the extradition of NRI spouses to India for trial. At present, when it comes to desertion, domestic violence or dowry harassment cases, it is next to impossible to get the man to return for facing legal proceedings.”
The report proposes that NRI husbands who abandon their wives should face dire consequences on their passport. Whether the document becomes impounded or even cancelled. The proposals also request that cases concerning domestic violence should also become included:
“Once the passport is impounded, the NRI husband — if present in India — won’t be able to leave the country until the case is settled. If abroad, he will have to be deported to India.”
In addition, it also proposed that when NRI marriages become registered, they should contain important details. These include addresses of home and work, as well as a social security number. This means husbands can become easier to track in these situations.
Lastly, the committee recommended increasing the financial aid given by these men to their wives. Currently set at $3,000 (approx. £2,200), they want it raised to $6,000 (approx. £4,400).
Women have also shared their experiences in the report, recounting the true reality of facing abandonment. An Indian wife named Sarita revealed how her husband lives in Australia and avoids all contact with her. Sarita’s father added:
“I did not even get time to grieve after my wife died of breast cancer in September last year. I was too busy fighting for my daughter, Sarita, whose husband left her.”
In 2014, the National Commission for Women reported that 346 women had made NRI marriage complaints. All these complaints involved their husbands. However, prior to these proposals, Indian wives face extreme difficulty with their cases.
For example, a chairperson for the Punjab Women Commission, Paramjit Kaur Landran, explained how Indian wives can “grow tired” from pursuing action against their NRI husbands. The figure also added that it’s “not easy to get NRI grooms extradited”.
However, with this new set of proposals, perhaps the government will encourage a change in this issue. One where Indian wives can find justice amidst heartbreaking abandonment. And where husbands can no longer feel they have the power to do this.