A Bill seeking compulsory registration of NRI marriages within 30 days of the wedding, has been introduced in the Upper House of the Indian Parliament by India's foreign minister Sushma Swaraj.
This Bill seeks to “safeguard the interests of Indian women trapped in fraudulent marriages with NRIs”. The proposed law will be applicable to NRIs marrying Indian women both within or outside of the country.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, close to 3,328 complaints were received between January 2015 and November 2017 from Indian women deserted by their NRI husbands.
The provisions of the Bill mandate that the marriage – whether it is solemnised in India or outside – should be registered within a period of 30 days from the time the couple ties the knot. Failure to do so would imply that the Indian authorities have the right to revoke the offender's passport. It also allows Indian courts to issue summons through the designated website of the MEA and attach properties belonging to the NRI – if he does not appear before the court.
Swaraj said the Indian government revoked the passports of 25 NRI husbands for abandoning their wives.
Highlighting the plight of wives abandoned by NRI husbands, the National Commission for Women (NCW) wrote to the MEA, stating that “in many cases where despite the marriage having been solemnized in accordance with the personal laws of the country and in India, foreign courts decide the cases and dissolve marriages.”