Union Law Ministry on Tuesday approved proposed amendments to three Central laws, aimed at providing assistance to Indian women married to NRIs and facing marital hardships, a senior Women and Child Development Ministry official said.
Women and Child Development Secretary Rakesh Srivastava said the proposed amendments are related to three central legislations - the Marriage Act, the Passport Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure and would be forwarded to the Cabinet next week for its approval.
“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," Srivastava said.
“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. We are hoping that it will be sent to the Cabinet next week,” Srivastava said.
The Marriage Act, Srivastava said, would be amended to provide for mandatory registration of NRIs’ marriages within seven days.
“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,” Srivastava said.
Adding that 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, the WCD official said 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.
“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,” Srivastava added.
WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had recently met to sort out legal solutions for redressing various marital issues faced by the wives of the NRI men.
(With inputs from agencies)