To tackle the issue of an overwhelming amount of NRI men deserting their wives abroad, the Union Women and Child Development Ministry proposed to toughen the laws for NRI men who abandon their wives. However, the Union Law Ministry has rejected the proposal which has made it difficult for the WCD ministry to take things forward in this matter.

The WCD ministry had recommended few measures to eradicate the problem of NRI men deserting wives after the marriage including a provision of a dedicated website to serve them the summons. However, the law ministry objected to this clause.

“Following discussions with the Home and External Affairs ministries we had prepared a draft on prescribing harsher punishments for NRI wife deserters which included several changes in the CrPC act,” a senior WCD ministry official said, TNIE reported.

“One of the suggestions was that since the wife deserters do not receive summons, we will upload the summons on a special website and if they fail to respond to it despite three notices—we will consider them as absconders,” the official explained. “However, the law ministry had questioned the legality of the clause.”

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“Our proposal was that all Indians who go abroad after marriage will require registering on a specially created website and in case of any marital disputes in future, this website will serve as a portal where all notices will also be served.”

Officials in the WCD ministry argue that currently the courts issue a notice in the newspaper after NRI men fail to respond to it. And they don’t even probably read the newspaper, say the officials.

“However, we are not yet giving up on the proposal and will pursue the matter with the Law Ministry further. After all, the ministry took these decisions following several meetings of a group of ministers.”

He also stated that the Delhi High Court recently allowed legality of summons delivered on through messaging app WhatsApp. “In such case, there is no reason why the law ministry should reject our proposal on the issue of validity,” another official contended.

Other measures that the WCD ministry proposed are impoundment or cancellation of passport and attachment of their property in India but the rejection of the clause to issue summons through the website means that other provisions cannot also go through.

“However, we are not yet giving up on the proposal and will pursue the matter with the Law Ministry further. After all, the ministry took these decisions following several meetings of a group of ministers,” the official said.

Punjab and Gujarat house a great number of women deserted right after their marriages with NRI men. Delhi, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the other state where women abandoned by their short-term husband live.

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