Marriages between an Indian woman from India and an Indian man residing in another nation, either as an Indian citizen or as a citizen of that other country (when he would be legally a PIO – person of Indian origin) are known as NRI marriages. The issue is particularly prevalent among Indian women who are duped into marrying foreign Indians. They also overlook the fact that if something goes wrong in an NRI marriage, the woman’s legal options are severely limited. The woman is ‘isolated’ far from home in a foreign nation, with language barriers, communication issues, and a lack of knowledge about the local criminal justice, police, and legal systems.
The problem is multifaceted, encompassing concerns such as dowry and other forms of harassment of married women in foreign nations, marriages of convenience, and the husband’s concealment of a previous marriage before marrying an Indian lady. Another critical issue that requires addressed is the lack of social security that an Indian lady in a foreign country faces when her marriage fails. Lack of a support network of friends and relatives, as well as financial restraints, exacerbate the issue, leaving the deserted wife entirely defenceless and stranded.
The following is a summary of some of the most common complications that can emerge in NRI marriages:
i. A woman married to an NRI who is abandoned before her spouse takes her to the foreign country where he lives.
ii. Woman who was violently beaten, assaulted, abused both emotionally and physically, famished, confined, and ill-treated, and was forced to flee or was forcibly returned.
iii. A hasty engagement, followed by a lavish wedding, a sizable dowry, and a honeymoon, following which the NRI husband departs India while the wife awaits her visa.
iv. The threat of “honeymoon brides” is a significant issue to address, since over 20,000 brides have gone missing following their honeymoon.
v. A woman who travelled to her spouse’s home country and waited at the international airport only to discover that her husband would not arrive at all.
vi. The NRI husband was already married to another woman in another country.
vii. Husband had given her incorrect information about his work, immigration status, property, marital status, and other essential particulars in order to trick her into marrying him.
viii. A woman who sought maintenance or divorce in a court in India or another country but repeatedly ran into technical legal obstacles such as court jurisdiction, service of notices or orders, or enforcement of orders, or learned that her husband was pursuing a retaliatory legal action in the other country.
These issues have highlighted the importance of putting in place safeguards to protect these women, as well as making them aware of their rights and social security options.
It is necessary to provide the following provisions for the victims’ welfare:
i. Simplifying the procedure for foreign missions in India to issue visas to deserted women quickly so that they can dispute the procedures initiated by their NRI or PIO husband in a foreign country.
ii. When an NRI/PIO husband seeks to cancel sponsorship of his spouse’s visa, a method of cross-checking / permission should be implemented. Cancellation should not be granted as long as the aggrieved woman’s dependency persists as per Indian law, allowing her to remain in the foreign country and contest proceedings without being deported and so deprived of the right to do so.
iii. Ex-parte divorces granted by foreign courts are prohibited in cases of marriages solemnised in India under Indian law.
iv. In cases of marital strife, the procedural delay/low priority for issuing LOC/RCN against the accused NRI/PIO husband must be addressed.
v. Cases of domestic strife should be covered under extradition treaties. Cases of domestic conflict should be included in their scope, according to the Law Commission’s 219th Report.)
vi. Difficulties and delays in serving judicial processes issued by Indian courts through Indian missions abroad must be addressed.
vii. Simplifying the procedure to allow the extradition/deportation of an errant husband and the cancellation of his passport in order to face a civil/criminal prosecution in India, particularly if Indian court processes are not followed.
viii. Mechanisms to enable timely tracking of NRIs/PIOs in the event of desertion must be developed. Funds may also need to be set aside for the purpose of locating such people through agencies that specialise in the task.
ix. Recognition of NCW as an authorised organisation to initiate direct applications on behalf of injured women before foreign courts and foreign missions when necessary.
x. Increasing awareness
xi. Appointing nodal officers or departments to handle NRI issues.
xii. Police and officials are being made more aware of the need to register FIRs and other NRI issues.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) has proposed that women who marry Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) be given a second passport, which would be kept by the woman’s parents and would allow them to assist her in returning if her first passport was stolen by an abusive husband.
WCD Minister Krishna Tirath told The Indian Express that a copy of the second passport, which will be a “combined” document containing details of both the woman and her NRI husband and will also serve as “proof” of their marriage, will be deposited with the Indian mission in the country where the woman goes to live.
The second passport, according to the ministry, will allow “parents to intervene and assist their daughter.” A copy (of this passport) should be kept in Indian embassies around the world so that they have a record and can assist ladies in need.” “We’ve been able to settle 110 cases through positive intervention since we created the NRI Cell in 2009.” “We’re concentrating our efforts in three states: Gujarat, Kerala, and Punjab, where the number of women abandoned by NRI husbands is the highest,” Khanna added.
Many women, according to Khanna, are unaware that most Indian posts or embassies have support desks available to assist them.”There is also a scheme for legal and financial assistance to Indian women deserted by their abroad Indian spouses,” Khanna said, adding that the National Domestic Violence Helpline in the United States is one of the best, as it provides assistance to women in the immigrants’ native languages.
“They will also be directed to keep a watch on these families” after the missions receive information about a woman in distress, Tirath added.
Steps to Assist Indian Women Who Have Been Abandoned by NRI Husbands-
who have been abandoned by their Non-Resident Indian (NRI) spouses overseas or shortly after their marriage in India do not have to feel powerless? A pamphlet on the precautions available to such women has been released by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. The brochure, Marriages to Overseas Indians, offers information on the legal options accessible to such women as well as the authorities to whom they might turn for help.
1.In general, NRIs represent a hardworking and entrepreneurial population who have succeeded in putting India on the map of the world. It is both false and defamatory to assume that they are deceptive, marry for money, and dump their brides.
2.As the events in Doaba (Punjab) and Hyderabad demonstrate, one of the key root causes for the phenomena of desertion is an OBSESSION to MIGRATE to foreign shores. Abandonment is not a male or female phenomenon. As seen by the countless incidents described above, wives abandon their spouses as well.
3.Affection for Many unscrupulous trading practises have flourished as a result of migration to foreign shores, robbing the common man of his hard-earned money, dignity, and social status. Unscrupulous Travel Agents and Marriage Bureaus have prospered by destroying the lives of these helpless, naive individuals. Such travel agents and middlemen have profited handsomely from people’s desire to migrate. Several agents and thugs have been arrested in the past, and there is abundant evidence to imply that women are also involved in this criminal enterprise.
4.The government has been unable to collect relevant statistics and facts on challenges and hardships faced by married men and their families due to the lack of a gender-neutral forum. No statutory bodies (such as NCW) are willing to believe their complaints. There are no regulations that could help NRI men and their families deal with the unique circumstances they find themselves in. All laws are strongly skewed in favour of women, to the point where they jeopardise the welfare of males and their families.
5.Only a gender-neutral approach can provide a complete and accurate understanding of the issue of abandonment. In the absence of a neutral approach, any solution proposed by the government would almost certainly backfire later, primarily because the government would have entirely ignored and forgotten the demands and unique circumstances of NRI men and their families.
6.Even if the vast number of NRI abandoned brides is to be believed, the problem would be limited to a single region. It would be wrong to deal with regional issues through legislation that affects the entire country’s population. Such opportunistic legislation would not address the root of the problem. Before enacting any stringent legislation, it would be prudent to acknowledge that the phenomena of NRI abandoned brides is a socio-economic issue, and that the solution lies in raising awareness rather than enacting rules that violate an individual’s Right to Liberty and Dignity.
7.Before concluding that the number of women victims of fake NRI weddings has reached alarming proportions, the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs should have well-documented proof. To be sure, 100 such complaints from a Diaspora of 45 million NRIs cannot be considered worrying.
8.It would be right if the Ministry took note of complaints from NRI men who have been mistreated by Indian women in the interest of justice. The government should also provide the essential assistance to such guys and their families.
9.The government should acknowledge that NRI marriages fail for a number of reasons, and that both men and women share responsibility for these failures.
10.The contention that every occurrence of abandoned bride is due to harassment / dowry demands is excessively simple. To successfully deal with these cases and stop the rot, the MEA and MOIA should focus on fundamental causes and make every effort to avoid this highly emotional problem becoming a forum for NRI bashing.
It’s important to understand that NRI marriages can fail for a variety of reasons, and that occasionally both husbands and wives are to blame for such disappointments. It is unjust to absolve all ladies of their wrongdoing. The notion that every woman is abandoned as a result of harassment or dowry demands is simplistic. Sometimes people marry for purely practical reasons, which are referred to be “matrimonial of convenience” or “fake marriages.” Foreign nationals of India are not regarded full citizens of the country. If a person obtains citizenship of another country through a resident of India, he is not regarded an Indian national.India’s government announced its desire to grant dual nationality to PIOs residing in any country (excluding Pakistan & Bangladesh).
Since the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 was passed by Parliament, legal assistance has been offered. The Central Government can now register as an Overseas Citizen of India under this revised Act. Our administration has been working hard in recent years to overcome the challenges surrounding international marriages, and has produced a measure that requires weddings to be registered.
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