In view of rising incidents of Indian brides being deserted
by their NRI husbands, the government has decided to shortly
put in place a system of uniform marriage registration process
to curb the practice that has ruined the lives of thousands
form is being introduced to easily track overseas grooms who
desert their wives and for initiating legal action against
them. It will be applicable for marriages registered across
the country under any of the three marriage registration acts.
was discussed and ratified recently during an inter-ministerial
meeting with representatives from the Ministries of Overseas
Indian Affairs (MOIA), Law and Justice, External Affairs and
National Commission of Women, and is currently awaiting a
final clearance from the Ministry of Law and Justice.
of deserted NRI brides currently stands at over 25,000 according
to some government estimates. Over a year after the MOIA launched
a scheme to provide legal aid to Indian women deserted by
their overseas spouses, the ministry has been flooded with
requests from deserted Indian brides seeking to know the whereabouts
of their husbands.
most cases deserted wives are unable to provide much detail
of their husbands. The new registration form will have columns
for social security number of the overseas husband, passport
details and ID/labour card details," a highly placed
official of the MOIA, told PTI.
and the groom will also have to state that there had been
no exchange of dowry, they are not blood relations, and other
details in the four-page form.
are hopeful this will act as a formidable deterrence for even
habitual offenders as a database of all the marriages will
also be maintained," said the official.
marriage registration form will have provisions for punishing
the signatories for wrong declaration of any of the information
as per provisions under the Indian Penal Code.
draft registration form is cleared by the Ministry of Law
and Justice the registration format will be applicable to
all states and union territories.
to provide financial assistance to deserted Indian wives was
launched by the government last February and the maximum number
of requests for aid have been received from Punjab, Andhra
Pradesh and Kerala.
maximum number of the over 275 complaints that we have received
is from Punjab. In about 24 cases financial assistance of
USD 1000 each was provided by the Indian embassies of Australia,
New Zealand and United States to aid in registration and representation
for divorce suits," said another MOIA official here,
adding, "our efforts are just a trickle so far and much
more needs to be done."
noted that in most cases the assumption that a NRI groom is
always "well off" often leads to parents marrying
off their daughters in a rush and in secrecy. The ministry
is worried that the trend pervades class distinctions making
even well-educated women victims of this phenomenon.
that "prevention is better than cure", the MOIA
is trying its level best to raise awareness on the issue.