NRIs’ legal problems
Virendra Kumar

Acting for Non-Resident Indian Clients
by Anil Malhotra, Ranjit MaIhotra and Rambert de Mello.
Jordan Publishing Ltd., Bristol. Pages XI+282. Price not stated.

A bare perusal of the book under review instantly reveals that it deals with issues of familial relations that often arise in the context of non-resident Indians (NRIs)-the Indians who have migrated to the UK or other countries, including Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Specifically, it gives an insight into the legal problems relating to such crucial issues as validity of marriages and recognition of foreign divorce decrees, wills, adoption, succession to property, minority and guardianship.

The division of the whole account into two parts is highly functional. While the first part provides the setting of the applicable Indian laws to NRIs in the UK and other Commonwealth countries, the second part exposes them to the "English law in an immigration context". The side-by-side placing helps NRIs know the areas in which they are governed by the laws of their native country, and the ones in which they are obliged to follow the English law.

The book is indeed of manifold functional utility. To the prospective immigrants, it gives a good background picture of social and human relations. On this score, the utility of the work has been brought out by Lord Slynn of Hadley in the foreword by using entirely a non-legal language: "... Take those who began life in India and then came here as non-resident Indians. When they come here, they have not necessarily left India behind entirely. They may come with a certain amount of legal 'baggage'." The authors faithfully account for the assorted Indian laws in the 'accompanying baggage'-the contents that equip them to know the grounds on which they are required to provide information as part of their background in order to support the application for immigration.

For the practicing lawyers, who are likely to be consulted by NRI clients, often in a precipitant situation, this work is truly a "practical vade mecum" or "a ready reckoner". To the academic lawyer, desiring to have a comparative perspective of family life and family law in India and the UK, the work provides an insight into such issues as "the protection of women from "discrimination", "the rights of children", "the rights to inherit with difference in the claim of the son and daughter to the father's estate", and "the pressure of customs on the life of the newly widowed women".

The legal principles have been stated in a simple language and with utmost clarity. The account of customary practices, duly supported by judicial precedents, is both lucid and authentic. This work truly represents, as Lord Slynn of Hadley commends, "as a starting point for lawyers and others working in this area of our national life-not just for those who are established here but also for those seeking to enter and immigrate here." All concerned are bound to be benefited from the fine contribution made by the authors.