A path breaking Bill on Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) was introduced by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the Rajya Sabha.
The Bill seeks to safeguard Indian women who are trapped in fraudulent marriages with NRIs.
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.
It aims to create more accountability and offer more protection against exploitation of Indian women by their NRI spouses. 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.
According to the Bill, if an NRI man fails to register his marriage within 30 days of date of marriage, his passport can be impounded or revoked. The Bill, in a way, tries to support and protect the deserted spouses.
Having received innumerable complaints from Indian nationals, especially women, who are Indians and who are either deserted or harassed by their NRI spouses.
The Bill proposes to offer greater protection to Indian women 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.
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The proposed law will be applicable to NRIs marrying Indian women within or even outside India, the bill states.