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Posted at: Nov 13, 2018, 8:42 PM; last updated: Nov 13, 2018, 8:58 PM (IST)

Abandoned by NRI husbands, eight women approach SC

Top court issues notice to Centre
Abandoned by NRI husbands, eight women approach SC
The petitioners who hailed from Delhi, Pune, Bathinda and Puducherry highlighted the frauds committed in the name of marriage by NRI men living abroad.

Satya Prakash
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 13

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre on a petition filed by eight women from various parts of the country, including those from Punjab and Delhi, highlighting their plight after being abandoned by their NRI husbands.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asked the Centre and other authorities concerned to respond to the petition in six weeks. It asked the government to file a report indicating ways and means to deal with the problem after senior counsel Colin Gonsalves submitted that the petitioners rights needed to be protected.

The petitioners who hailed from Delhi, Pune, Bathinda and Puducherry highlighted the frauds committed in the name of marriage by NRI men living abroad. They said there were 50,000 such incidents in which criminal cases had registered under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code and other provisions of law.

In the absence of a law prescribing procedure to be followed by police, immigration authorities and embassies throughout the world for providing speedy justice to wives abandoned by NRI husbands, the petitioners requested the top court to formulate proper guidelines.

Requests for deportation of such men have been rejected by foreign countries in many cases, they pointed out. The process of issuing Lookout Circulars and Non-Bailable Warrants against such NRI husbands was proving to be inefficient. Petitioners sought guidelines to enable service of summons and warrant on NRI husbands electronically through email or WhatsApp.

Many of these men resorted to withdrawal of visa sponsorship for spouse (wives) following matrimonial discord and the National Commission for Women and State Women Commissions had no power to act against such husbands or order police to act against them, they submitted.

Contending that women had to suffer physically, mentally and financially in such cases, the petitioners demanded free legal aid and a financial support scheme as the woman invariably loose job after marriage to NRI men abroad.

Accusing the police of lax attitude, they submitted that there were procedural delays at various levels in the government in processing requests for issuance of LOCs and serving NBW through Indian Missions abroad. Whereabouts of husbands abroad often remained unknown for years, they complained.

The petitioners submitted that the Passports Acts provision on impounding of passport is rarely invoked against NRI husbands who abandon or harass their wives.

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