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Every Marriage Between an NRI and Indian Woman to Be Registered With WCD

The Law Ministry has been urged to frame stringent punishment mechanisms. The MEA will help in keeping a database of NRI passports.

Zeba Warsi | CNN-News18

Updated:June 6, 2018, 7:24 PM IST
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Every Marriage Between an NRI and Indian Woman to Be Registered With WCD
Union Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi addresses a press conference regarding her ministry's achievements and initiatives in New Delhi on June 6, 2018. (Image: PTI)
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New Delhi: To tighten the laws against those NRIs who abandon their wives in India, now every marriage between an NRI and an Indian woman will have to be registered with the Women and Child Development Ministry.

The ministry will also maintain a registry to keep a tab on NRI grooms. A web portal is being created for this purpose. And every NRI marriage will have to be registered within 48 hours.

Currently, only a few states, including Punjab, which was the first to do so, compulsorily register NRI marriages.

"There have been innumerable instances of young Indian girls who are abused by NRIs after marriage. They are sometimes abandoned right after marriage. We want to ensure that the NRI husbands cannot escape the country without being answerable. Their passports, visas could be revoked after a complaint," said Maneka Gandhi WCD minister.

The WCD Ministry is working with Ministry of External Affairs and Law Ministry on this issue.

The Law Ministry has been urged to frame stringent punishment mechanisms. The MEA will help in keeping a database of NRI passports.

Once implemented, the move will put a 48 hour deadline on registration, else the passport/visas would not be issued.

The registrars would send the details of such NRI marriages to the WCD Ministry so that a Central database can be maintained.

An Integrated Nodal Agency (INA) was constituted under the chairpersonship of Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) to work on the issues related to NRI Matrimonial Dispute. This is creating an SOP that will enable the women facing such disputes to seek redressal in a time-bound manner.

The ministry said women can now approach WCD for the purpose of tracing her NRI husband by having a LoC (Look out notice) issued.

Many husbands often use the lenient laws in foreign countries to obtain ex parte divorces from foreign courts. This becomes a weapon in their hands to deny maintenance to women who are dumped in India. Since the NRIs rely on foreign court granted divorces, the women only come to know through foreign court notices about the divorce

Just last month, in an unprecedented step, the MEA revoked the passports of five NRIs against whom Look-out-Circulars (LoC) had been issued by Integrated Nodal Agency (INA).
| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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