NEW DELHI: Indian government, for the first time, has revoked passports of five Non-Resident Indians on the charges of abandoning their wives shortly after marriage or following disputes abroad.
The development comes after the Ministry of External Affairs agreed to a proposal by the Union Women and Child Development Ministry to take stringent action in NRI matrimonial dispute cases.
Only this week, the law ministry has also accepted a proposed by the WCD ministry to issue summons through MEA website in such cases, after first rejecting it on the legal grounds.
“This is a crucial step the government has taken to curb this fast-growing menace as we are abandoned with complaints where brides are dumped by NRI grooms post weddings,” a senior WCD ministry official said.
The revoking of passports will force NRI grooms to return to India and face the trial as they had been evading arrests by not responding to summons despite non-bailable warrants issued against them, the official said.
The step has been taken in cases where look-out circulars were earlier issued last month as part of a standard operating procedure.
The government has been receiving complaints of frauds, abandonment, domestic violence, extra-marital relationships, ex-parte divorce, being duped of money after promising marriage, forceful or illegal retention of children’s custody, non-payment of maintenance among other complaints.
A large number of NRI Matrimonial dispute cases remain pending on account of non-appearance of the perpetrator jeopardising women and children’s future, a ministry official said.
An Integrated Nodal Agency was constituted under the chairpersonship of secretary, WCD ministry to work on the issues related to NRI Matrimonial Dispute. It has proposed measures such a attaching the property of wife deserters and their families in India to discourage such practices.
Independent surveys by some NGOs indicate that there are thousands of such women in states like Punjab, Gujarat, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala who have been deserted by their husbands. In many cases these women and their families also accuse the men and their kin of charging hefty dowry and then duping them.