In a bid to create more accountability and offer more protection against exploitation of Indian women by their NRI spouses, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday introduced a path-breaking Bill on Registration of Marriage of non-Resident of India in the Rajya Sabha.

According to the bill, non-resident Indians must register their marriages within 30 days of the wedding in India or abroad to provide better enforcement of rights of the deserted spouse under various family laws.

It also includes the Amendment of the Passports Act 1967 that would empower the Passport Authority to impound or revoke the passport of an NRI, if it is brought to its notice that the man has not registered his marriage within 30 days of tying the knot.

The Amendments to CrPC, 1973, on the other hand, would empower the courts for issuance of summons, warrants through the specially designated website of the Ministry of External Affairs. It also provides provisions for attachment of properties belonging to the NRI, if he does not appear before the court and is declared as Proclaimed Offender

The need for the introduction of the bill emerged due to numerous complaints received from Indian nationals, mostly women who were deserted or harassed by their Non-Resident Indian Spouses. The bill is a great endeavour to offer greater protection to Indian women married to NRIs. This will also serve as a deterrent to NRIs against harassment of their spouses. This would also provide to be much needed relief to all Indian women married to NRIs worldwide.

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Earlier, the Women and Child Development ministry had directed all registrars across India to upload details of NRI marriages on the website.

“Having a website that has all data related to marriages of NRIs with Indian nationals, including the address of the NRI groom, where he works, etc. will help us to tackle complaints more promptly. It will be mandatory for registrars to upload all details soon after a marriage is registered,” said a senior official had told HT.

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