The government of India struck heavily on five Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and revoked their passports.
The reason behind the seizure was that these men were charged with abandoning their wives shortly after marriage or following disputes abroad.
According to a report by the New Indian Express, the decision came about after the Ministry of External Affairs approved a proposal by the Union Women and Child Development Ministry to take stringent action in NRI matrimonial dispute cases.
This month, the law ministry too approved a proposal by the WCD ministry to issue summons to these NRI perpetrators through the MEA website in such cases. (It had previously rejected the same proposal on legal grounds). The summons to the NRI men in such cases were earlier issued in newspapers.
The report states that the government ordered the seizure of passports after look-out circulars were issued earlier last month as part of a standard operating procedure.
Purpose of the move
A senior official from the WCD ministry told the publication, “This is a crucial step the government has taken to curb this fast-growing menace as we are swamped with complaints where brides are dumped by NRI grooms post weddings.”
The seizure of passports will coerce the NRI grooms to return to India and face trial.
Because the government, as well as the ministry, have had a barrage of complaints where NRIs grooms charged with frauds, domestic violence, abandonment, ex-parte divorce or extra-marital relationships, have successfully escaped arrests by ignoring notices, despite non-bailable warrants issued against them.
Apart from the cases above, the ministry has also received several complaints where women have been duped of money after being promised marriage or harassed by forceful or illegal retention of children’s custody, non-payment of maintenance etc.
What is unfortunate is that several of these NRI Matrimonial dispute cases drag on for years because of non-appearance of the perpetrator. This affects the life of the women involved but also causes distress when children are a part of the ensuing struggle.
And so, under the chairpersonship of the Secretary, the WCD constituted an integrated Nodal Agency to look into NRI Matrimonial dispute cases. This agency has now come up with a few measures including attaching the property of the perpetrators who abandon their wives.
This step can surely go a long way in bringing justice and relief to hundreds of women who are cheated.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)