March 05, 2019:
Nearly a year after the Indian Government decided to act tough on NRIs accused of abandoning their wives, 45 of them have had their Indian Passports cancelled, Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi has said.
She also said that the Integrated Nodal Agency made to look into the matter has been issuing look-out circulars to absconding husbands in cases of NRI marriages.
Faced with an increase in the number of case where women are being harassed, ill-treated and abandoned by their NRI husbands, the Women and Child Development Ministry had asked the External Affairs Ministry to revoke the passports of the accused men.
According to the National Commission for Women (NCW), in the last five years, they have received 2,244 complaints from women against their NRI husbands. There were 425 complaints in 2014, 422 in 2015, 468 in 2016, 528 in 2017 and 401 till Aug 2108.
As of now desertion of wife does not amount to criminal offence. However, desertion may come within the ambit of ‘cruelty’ as stated under Section 498A of IPC.
While accepting the proposal made by the WCDMA, the MEA noted that cancelling of passport will force the husbands to return to India and face the law, which they had been evading even after being summoned by the MEA.
In June last year the government also made it mandatory for all NRI marriages solemnized in India would have to be registered within 48 hrs.