Law ministry approves amendments to three laws to help NRI wives facing marital hardship

New Delhi: The Union law ministry has approved proposed amendments to three Central laws, aimed at providing succour to Indian women married to NRIs and facing marital hardships, a senior Women and Child Development Ministry official has said. The proposed amendment would be forwarded to the Cabinet next week for its approval, said WCD Secretary Rakesh Srivastava.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Srivastava said the proposed amendments, aimed at shielding NRIs' wives from possible marital discords and distress, pertain to three central legislations: the Marriage Act, the Passport Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Marriage Act would be amended to provide for mandatory registration of NRIs' marriages within seven days, failing which the passports and visas of the NRIs would be liable to be denied or revoked, the official said.

The amendment to the Passport Act, in turn, would empower the government to seize the passport of an NRI husband on his failure to appear in a court to answer charges of deserting his wife, he said. Similarly, the amendment to the CrPC would provide for service of court summons to an NRI husband, facing charges of deserting or abandoning his wife or failing in her proper upkeep, by uploading and displaying the summons on the official website of the Ministry of External Affairs.

A court summons to an NRI, involved in a case of marital discord, displayed on the MEA website would be deemed to have been served without any further notice to him, he said. And in case of no response even after uploading of the summons to an NRI husband, he would be considered an absconder and his property would be liable to confiscated by the government, he added.

"We also had a meeting with the home ministry and the law ministry, which have agreed to the amendment of the three laws. The amendment proposal would now be forwarded to the Cabinet," he added.  "We are hoping that it will be sent to the Cabinet next week," he said. Earlier this month, WCD minister Maneka Gandhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had met to map out legal solutions for redressing various marital issues faced by the wives of the NRI men.

Updated Date: Jun 26, 2018 21:15 PM

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