A non-resident Indian (NRI) husband hoodwinked the Supreme Court forcing the top court to take the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) assistance to trace him.
A bench of Justice J Chelameshwar and Justice Shiv Kirti Singh has directed forthwith extradition of Ravi Verma (name changed). He has been absconding since 2012 when the SC had allowed Verma to leave the country on the assurance he would return within six months after earning $ 2,000 to pay interim maintenance to his estranged wife and their minor daughter.
Appearing for the CBI, additional solicitor general PS Narasimha assured the court that the agency had sought Interpol’s help to extradite Verma.
Narasimha said the agency had been able to locate his whereabouts and that he would be brought back within six weeks.
Verma, who had appealed against a Jaipur trial court order convicting him for dowry harassment, had approached SC after the Rajasthan High Court order restricted him to India.
He had implored the court to let him go so that he could him abide by an order, given in a parallel proceeding under the Domestic Violence Act, directing him to pay the maintenance.
Verma said due to his conviction he had lost his job in the US where he was a green card holder. On January 1, 2012, a bench then headed by Justice Altamas Kabir, on humanitarian ground, allowed him to travel.
After struggling for two years to locate him, Verma’s wife found herself at the SC doors. In her application, through her counsel Anita Shenoy, the wife asked it to initiate contempt proceedings against him.
Indian brides getting dumped by NRI grooms is a huge problem in many parts of the country, especially in Punjab.
Off the radar
The man has been absconding since 2012, when the SC let him leave the country on humanitarian grounds.
He gave the court an assurance that he would return within six months after earning $2,000 as interim maintenance for his estranged wife.
The CBI has said they will track him down and bring him back to the country in six weeks.