Reining in errant NRI spouses
The Law Commission has taken note of the problem of ‘desi’ brides being dumped by Non-Resident Indian grooms. Noting that the problem has assumed alarming proportions, the Commission has recommended a slew of measures, including compulsory registration of such marriages. Satya Prakash reports.delhi Updated: May 08, 2009 00:54 IST
The Law Commission has taken note of the problem of ‘desi’ brides being dumped by Non-Resident Indian (NRI) grooms. Noting that the problem has assumed alarming proportions, the Commission has recommended a slew of measures, including compulsory registration of such marriages.
What it wants
It also recommends that NRI spouses must obligatorily furnish marriage documents to their embassy/high commission in India
States with high NRI population must immediately create fast track courts for quick disposal of matrimonial and child custody disputes involving NRIs.
The marriage laws must be amended to provide for maintenance and alimony, child custody and matrimonial property.
A uniform law must be enacted for adoption of Indian children by NRIs and the existing
inter-country child adoption procedures must be simplified.
In its 219th report on “Need for Family Law Legislations for Non-Resident Indians”, submitted to the government, the Commission said that compulsory registration of such marriages would “ensure compliance of conditions of a valid marriage, provide proof of marriage and act as a deterrent for bigamous practices”. States with significant NRI migration, like Punjab, must make registration of such marriages compulsory.
Simultaneously, “it should be made obligatory that the NRI must give intimation of registration of his marriage to the concerned Embassy/High Commission in India”, it said.
“Where one of the spouses is an NRI, parallel additions must be made in the Hindu Marriage Act (MHA), 1955 and the Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954 to provide for ”maintenance and alimony of spouses, child custody and child support and as also settlement of matrimonial property” the Commission said.
The Commission also suggested changes in the exiting laws on adoption, child custody and matrimonial property, specially with emphasis to NRIs. It has suggested setting up of family courts “to deal with legal problems relating to family” as well as fast-track courts for time-bound disposal of cases relating to succession, transfer of property, execution of wills, repatriation of NRI funds etc.
Recommending “a single uniform legislation” for adoption of Indian children by NRIs, the Commission said, “Inter-country child adoption procedures must be simplified”.