seeks tougher laws to tackle NRI divorce, desertion
New Delhi, Sep. 12, 2008
view of the increasing number of cases where NRI husbands deserting
their Indian brides were being easily let off by overseas authorities,
the government has decided to hold discussion on the legalities
of the issue with local authorities in five countries.
The decision was arrived during a inter-ministerial meeting participated
by Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vyalar Ravi, Minister of
state for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury and representations
from Ministry of Law and Justice, National Commission for Women,
National Human Rights Commission and state governments of Punjab
and Andhra Pradesh.
Earlier an inter-ministerial sub-committee recommended that the
team of Indian officials from these ministries should hold talks
with USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand where the problem
of desertion of Indian women were most acute.
"There are country specific legalities that need to be studied
first. Thereafter, some changes or enhancing some clauses to curb
the problem in these countries can be recommended after sensitising
their local authorities about the problem of desertion of Indian
brides," Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA),
K Mohandas told a news agency.
He added that to achieve the desired results, Indian embassies
in these five countries are also being engaged on the issue and
Indian officials would also travel abroad if required.
The recommendation was accepted by the committee on observation
that it is very easy to seek for and get a divorce in these countries.
"Local authorities in these countries are not much aware of
Indian customs and traditions whereby it is very difficult for an
Indian woman to enter into nuptial ties again after a divorce,"
an MOIA official said.
The team comprising officials from Ministries of Overseas Indian
Affairs, External Affairs, Law and Justice, Women and Child Development
also wants to propose an agreement to assist deserted Indian women
in these countries.
A final nod from the Cabinet is now awaited as the proposal has
been sent for seeking a political consent by the inter-ministerial
Once cleared, the team in assistance with Indian Embassies would
establish contact with local authorities in these countries.
While members from the Women and Child Development ministry would
document pending cases in courts of these countries, the Law and
Justice team would study local regulations and assist the MOIA in
framing suitable strategies for protecting the future of Indian
Taking a number of steps in view of the rising incidents of Indian
women being deserted by their NRI husbands, the government had already
launched a scheme to provide legal assistance of USD 1,000 to deserted
Indian wives for defending their cases abroad.
"With the launch of the scheme, both the MOIA and Indian Embassies
are now better placed to tackle the issue. Going by our experience
of the scheme, the need for putting in place a suitable legal interference
was felt," the MOIA official said.
The government had also mooted the idea of a common marriage registration
form that would require NRI grooms to provide their social security
number, passport particulars and labour ID card details so that
they could be tracked and detected in cases of desertion