External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj on Monday introduced a path-breaking Bill on Registration of Marriage of non-resident of India in Rajya Sabha.
The Bill is an outcome of a joint initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Law and Justice.
The objective of the Bill is to create more accountability and offer more protection against the exploitation of Indian women by their NRI partners. It envisages (i) Registration of Marriages by Non-Resident Indians; (ii) Amendment of the Passports Act 1967 and (iii) Amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973.
As per the provisions of the Bill, the mandatory registration of marriage within 30 days of marriage in India or abroad would provide better enforcement of rights of the deserted spouse under numerous family laws.
Likewise, the Amendment to the Passport Act would empower the Passport Authority to revoke or impound the passport of NRI, if it is brought to his notice that the NRI has not registered his marriage within thirty days from the date of marriage.
The Amendments to CrPC, 1973 would empower the Courts for the issuance of warrants, summons through the specially designated website of the Ministry of External Affairs. Moreover, It provides provisions for attachment of properties belonging to the NRI, if he does not appear before the Court and is declared as Proclaimed Offender by the Court.
The introduction of the Bill was necessitated by the Ministry of External Affairs due to several complaints received from Indian nationals mostly women deserted or harassed by their Non-Resident Indian Spouses.
The Bill proposes to offer greater protection to the women of India married to NRIs and serve as a deterrent to NRIs against harassment of their spouses. This would provide much-needed relief to all Indian women married to NRIs worldwide.