The central government recently made laws to prevent NRI husbands from abandoning their wives. The new laws mandate the NRI husband 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 panel also decided to allow the Ministry of External Affairs to put up summons issued to NRI men who have not responded to the earlier summons on its website.

The decision was taken by an inter-ministerial panel. They also acknowledged that necessary amendments will have to be made in the Passport Act to incorporate the changes.

Currently, only some states, including Punjab, have laws to make registration of NRI marriages compulsory.

Proposal on Property

There was no consensus on the issue of attaching the property of NRIs who desert their wives and do not respond repeatedly. Some ministers suggested that if an NRI abandons his wife, his share of parental property must be seized. Some others objected to the suggestion. “Law ministry officials present in the meeting said the proposal to attach property is legally not tenable. The ministerial panel has directed the law ministry to revisit the proposal and suggest what could be done within a week,” said the fourth official, HT said.

The new laws are expected to solve grievances related to NRI marriages and abandonment of women. “These measures are good and long overdue. But it will only help future cases. What about the large number of women who have already been deserted by NRI men? Is the government thinking of some measures to help them too? We as a society have to take care of them also,” said Arvind Kumar Goel, retired judge and former chairman of Punjab’s state commission for NRIs, HT reported.

The Inter-Ministerial Panel

The panel was set up after there was a sharp increase in NRI husbands abandoning women they married in India. It was tasked with reviewing the legal and regulatory challenges faced by women who were abandoned by NRI husbands

The panel comprised several ministers, including Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh and Maneka Gandhi. At a panel meeting on June 12, these decisions were taken.

They have decided to make it mandatory for NRIs to register their marriages with registrars. “The law ministry has agreed to incorporate the necessary clause by amending the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969,” a second official said, HT reported.

The law, home and external affairs ministries will also be coming up with draft legal amendments to ensure speedy execution of the changes.

Read: Punjab Govt To Trace NRI Husbands Of ‘Honeymoon Brides’

Nimisha Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV

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