Summons to NRI husbands to be put on MEA’s website in marital disputes

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Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD). -Photo courtesy The Indian Express

The Hush Post: To create a stronger deterrent for NRIs who desert their wives in India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will now display the summons to such men on their official website, a report said.

The decision has been taken among other legal remedies for addressing the issues faced by women in NRI marriages at a meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM), under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and attended by officials from the External Affairs, Law and Justice and Women and Child Development Ministry, Babushahi reported.

“We (Women and Child Development Ministry) are grateful to Rajnath Singh, (External Affairs Minister) Sushma Swaraj and (Law and Justice Minister) Ravi Shankar Prasad for enumerating fine details on ways to resolve the issue of NRI marriages,” said the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry in a tweet.

“We are working towards putting in place an efficient mechanism that will provide immediate relief to women in troubled NRI marriages,” the WCD Ministry tweet added.

But, as per the sources, the Law Ministry previously had not approved of displaying the summons of NRI marriages on the MEA website and also clashed with the Women and Child Development Ministry over impounding passports and confiscation of the property of those NRI husbands who have been found guilty of deserting their wives and failed to appear in the court, the report said.

Notably, in May, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had revoked passports of five NRIs against whom Look-out-Circulars (LoC) were issued by Integrated Nodal Agency (INA) – an inter-ministerial body headed by Women and Child Development Secretary Rakesh Srivastava, formed to deal with matrimonial disputes, it was reported.

The WCD Ministry had earlier said that it has received 40 cases related to matrimonial disputes relating to NRIs, of which six were found to be serious and LoC issued, the report said.

Union WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi had also pitched for issuing orders for registering NRI marriages with 48 hours else the visa or passport of the husbands will not be issued.

As per the WCD Ministry, in criminal matters involving NRIs, the LoC can be issued by the investigating agency in cognisable offences when the overseas husband is deliberately evading arrest or not appearing in the trial court despite non-bailable warrants and other coercive measures, or there is a likelihood that he will leave the country to evade trial or arrest, the report said.

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