The central government revoked passports of 45 NRI men for abandoning wives and fleeing off, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has said. The Integrated Nodal Agency, chaired by Rakesh Srivastava, a secretary in the women and child development ministry, has been issuing Look-Out Circulars to absconding husbands in cases of NRI marriages and 45 passports have been impounded by the External Affairs Ministry, the WCD minister said.

She further added that the ministry has also introduced a bill in the Rajya Sabha to get justice for the abandoned wives in cases of NRI marriages but felt disappointed with the fact that it got stalled. The bill proposed registration of marriages by non-resident Indians, amendment of the Passports Act, 1967 and Amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

It was jointly proposed by the External Affairs Ministry, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Law and Justice.

This is not the first time that the central government cancelled passports of NRI men for leaving their wives after marriage. Earlier in November last year also, the WCD ministry told that the government had cancelled the passports of 25 such NRIs. The ministry had recommended the names of eight men and the rest are embroiled in cases registered with the state police.

The Integrated Nodal Agency, chaired by Rakesh Srivastava, a secretary in the women and child development ministry, has been issuing Look-Out Circulars to absconding husbands in cases of NRI marriages and 45 passports have been impounded by the External Affairs Ministry.

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On top of cancelling their passports, in some cases, the government instructed the state police to issue Look-out-Circulars (LoC). In criminal matters involving NRIs, the investigating officer can issue LoC in cognisable offences when the husband from overseas is deliberately dodging arrest.

According to a new law, NRIs have to compulsorily register their marriages within a week and update their marital status on their passports. If they fail to update their marital status, on passports, the document may get revoked by the authorities.

The inter-ministerial panel has also decided to allow the Ministry of External Affairs to put up summons issued to NRI men who have not responded to earlier summons on its website. It also acknowledged that necessary amendments will have to be made in the Passport Act to incorporate the changes.

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