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QUESTION NO.1712 REVOKING PASSPORT OF NRI HUSBANDS

February 13, 2019

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.1712
TO BE ANSWERED ON 13-02-2019

REVOKING PASSPORT OF NRI HUSBANDS

1712. SHRI SANTOKH SINGH CHAUDHARY:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether the Government has revoked the passports of some Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) for abandoning their wives;

(b) if so, the details thereof;

(c) the number of complaints related to abandoning of wives received in the last three years, year-wise and state/UT wise: and

(d) the steps taken or proposed to be taken by the Government to reduce the incidents of abandonment of wives by their husbands ?

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


(a) & (b) Yes Sir, The Ministry has, on the basis of Look Out Circulars/Non-Bailable Warrants/Summons/Court Notices, suspended passports under Section 10A of the Passports Act, 1967 and impounded/revoked under Section 10(3) of the Passports Act, 1967, of Non Resident Indians (NRI) husbands for deserting their wives. The Ministry of External Affairs has revoked 21 passports, suspended 21 passports and impounded 1 passport.

(c) This Ministry does not maintain State-wise data. However, it has been receiving petitions from Indian women who have been deserted or harassed by their NRI spouses. Between January 2014 and December 2018 this Ministry (including the Indian Missions abroad) has addressed 5379 complaints of distressed Indian women deserted by their NRI spouses. The year-wise data of the complaints addressed are as below:

Year

Number of complaints addressed

2014

276

2015

796

2016

1510

2017

1498

2018

1299

Total

5379



(d) This Ministry (including the Indian Missions abroad) has addressed these 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.

In addition, 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 Organization /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.

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.
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