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QUESTION NO.2388 COMPLAINTS AGAINST NRI HUSBANDS

December 26, 2018

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2388
TO BE ANSWERED ON 26.12.2018

COMPLAINTS AGAINST NRI HUSBANDS

2388. SHRI DIBYENDU ADHIKARI:

SMT. POONAMBEN MAADAM:

SHRI HARIOM SINGH RATHORE:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether wives of NRI husbands have reported around 2500 cases of harassment in the last five years period and if so, the details thereof;

(b) whether Gujarat, Punjab and Kerala reported almost 80 percent of complaints and if so, the details thereof;

(c) whether Government proposes for pre-nuptial law agreements under International law; and

(d) if so, the action taken or proposed to be taken by the Government to check desertion of wives by NRI husbands and early lawful proceedings in this regard?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]

(a) & (b) Between January, 2015 and 30th November, 2018, this Ministry (including the Indian Missions abroad) have addressed 4985 complaints of distressed Indian women deserted by their NRI spouses by way of providing them counseling, guidance and information about procedures, mechanisms for serving judicial summons on the Overseas Indian husband; filing a case in India, issuing Look Out Circulars; impounding and revocation of Indian passport of the husband; getting access to lawyers and NGOs empanelled with Indian Missions etc.

This Ministry does not maintain State–wise data. However, it has been receiving and redressing grievances from women deserted by their NRI spouses from whole of India which pertains to abandonment, harassment, cheating, domestic violence by their spouses residing abroad, to ascertain whereabouts of NRI husbands, request for extradition, deportation of spouse to India, request for maintenance, support, divorce or child custody and request for legal and financial assistance to file a case against the NRI spouse.

(c) There are no proposals as of now, for pre-nuptial law agreements under International law, by the Government.

(d) The Government has taken the following steps to check desertion of wives by NRI husbands.

With an aim to provide financial and legal assistance to distressed women married to NRI spouses by all Missions and Posts, the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) Guidelines were revised in September, 2017. The amount of legal & financial assistance to distressed Indian women has also been increased to US$ 4000 per case. The assistance is released to the empanelled legal counsel of the applicant or Indian Community Association / Women’s Organisation/NGO concerned to enable it to take steps to assist the woman in documentation and preparatory work for filing the case.

An Expert Committee was set up to identify legal and regulatory challenges faced by Indian nationals married to overseas Indian nationals and to suggest amendments in existing Acts/legislations or new policies / laws / regulations. Some of the recommendations of the Expert Committee have been accepted including the constitution of an Integrated Nodal Agency (INA) and some are being examined.

The INA is headed by Secretary, Women & Child Development. The other members of the INA are (a) Joint Secretary (Judicial) & Joint Secretary (Foreigners), Ministry of Home Affairs, (b) Joint Secretary (OIA-II), Ministry of External Affairs and (c) Joint Secretary (Legal), Ministry of Law & Justice. The INA is functioning as an effective body and providing a single window timely solution to the problems of Indian women married to Overseas Indian spouses. So far, the INA has had thirteen sittings and has issued eight Look Out Circulars against the erring spouses.

Besides, this Ministry has cancelled 1 passport and impounded/ revoked 20 passports of erring spouses based on the complaints received and issuance of Look Out Circulars by the Integrated Nodal Agency/the police authorities and Court orders.

To create awareness, a comprehensive FAQs and information about legal provisions prevailing in foreign countries, data base of Organisations / NGOs / lawyers registered / empanelled with the Indian Missions/Posts abroad, with respect to various issues faced by aggrieved Indian women and how they can be addressed has been prepared bilingually and are placed on the website. The State authorities and the Regional Passport Offices have been requested to translate the above mentioned information into local languages to posted on their website and share the resources in regional languages, to disseminate information to Indian nationals.

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