Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi on Thursday said India would soon be a member of an international convention that would make it possible to take action against non-resident Indians (NRIs) in case of fraudulent marriages.
The incidence of brides becoming victims has increased and most of the cases are from states like Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, Ravi said while inaugurating a two-day workshop on 'Problems relating to NRI marriages'.
The workshop has been organised by the ministry of overseas Indian affairs (MOIA) and the National Commission for Women (NCW) at the Centre for Development Studies in Thiruvananthapuram.
"We expect that in a month's time we would become a member of the Hague Convention (dealing with recognition of marriages). Once that is done it becomes easier for the victim, mostly the bride and her family, to take legal steps after fraudulent marriages," he said.
The convention enables member-nations to recognise marriages performed in another country. The non-recognition of marriages performed in India often comes in the way of the harassed bride seeking legal redress abroad.
"This is the second round of workshops being held in the country. We would have a third one in Hyderabad in October and then we move ahead with the discussions with other ministries to see that stringent action like impounding the passports of the erring bridegroom is taken," the minister said.
NCW chairperson Girija Vyas said the central and state governments as well as women's groups should work in tandem to counter the trend of innocent girls being cheated into marriage by NRIs.
"We at the NCW have received complaints from more than 100 girls who have landed in trouble after marrying NRIs," she said.
"We have launched a campaign to this effect by bringing out leaflets to highlight the precautions that should be taken when entering into a marriage alliance with an NRI," said Vyas.
Ravi added that the Indian embassies would soon have a gender cell that would help in verifying antecedents of prospective bridegrooms.
MOIA joint secretary G Gurusharan said steps would soon be taken to involve employers of the erring NRI bridegrooms.
"We are also in touch with NRI organisations in various countries to see that they too are made aware of those indulging in such frauds," he said.
Ravi released a pamphlet in Malayalam on precautionary measures. It would be distributed across the state as part of an awareness campaign.
On Friday, the workshop would be addressed by Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan.