The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) under the leadership of Sushma Swaraj has set up an expert committee on Non-Resident Indian (NRI) marriages and disputes arising therein.
The Committee includes Chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Swati Jaihind along with representatives from the MEA, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Women and Child Development (WCD) and other experts.
The Committee has been mandated to identify legal and regulatory challenges faced by Indian nationals on this pertinent issue and suggest amendments in existing legislations as well as new laws and policies to better resolve the disputes concerning NRI marriages.
The Committee is slated to submit its report by August.
DCW on its part has given certain recommendations and suggestions to the Committee to combat the issues relating to NRI marriages. Further, in order to propose effective and actionable recommendations to the Committee, the Delhi Commission for Women has requested the Committee to seek certain information from MEA and MHA.
The Commission has also decided to seek suggestions from public and experts in the matter, so as to expand its knowledge base as well as learn from field experiences. The Delhi Commission for Women is contacting certain NGOs to seek their opinion in the matter.
The DCW chief has also written to NRI Commission of Punjab, Kerala and Goa to seek data about number of cases arising in their states as well as their views on the matter. Similarly, she has written to chairpersons of women commissions across the country seeking their views on the matter.
The Commission has released a special email ID firstname.lastname@example.org for people (especially NRIs, experts, NGOs) to share their suggestions on the issue.
The last date for submission is 23 July 2017 till 11 a.m.
Recent questions by Indian lawmakers on the topic include:
- QUESTION NO.†*450 MARITAL DISPUTES OF NRIs (link) – The Ministry has received 2485 complaints about NRI marital disputes during the last three years and until 30 March 2017.
- QUESTION NO.1609 INDIAN WOMEN DEFRAUDED BY NRI SPOUSES (link) – The Ministry has been receiving petitions from Indian women stating that their overseas Indian spouse has hidden the fact that he is already married or has a partner. Their petitions pertain to abandonment of the Indian woman by overseas Indian spouse either in India or in the foreign country after marriage. When the overseas Indian husband is summoned to attend court proceedings in India, Indian Missions/Posts have no means for enforcing the order abroad, except when the foreign country accepts the request for mutual legal assistance.
Recent stories on the topic include:
Man posing as NRI groom dupes South Mumbai woman of lakhs – The accused, whom the 30-year-old Nagpada-based woman had met on a matrimonial site, introduced himself as an NRI from England cheated her out of Rs 4.19 lakh
SoPs for NRI matrimonial disputes
– The Hindu – There have been complaints of frauds, abandonment, domestic violence, extra-marital relationships, ex-parte divorce, being duped of money after promising marriage, forceful/illegal retention of children’s custody, non-maintenance of maintenance etc., from the aggrieved women, Ms.Venkataratnam who left for Delhi said. sThe Ministry of Women and Child Development realising the need, decided to frame Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) providing details of legal recourse available for such women. It would also make available details of legal recourse for such women along with the procedure for accessing the same in consultation with the Ministries of Home, External Affairs, Law and Justice and National Commission for Women.