Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs, on 11th February 2019, has introduced a path breaking Bill in Rajya Sabha to make it mandatory to “REGISTER” the marriage of Non-Resident of India (NRI).
The objective of the Bill is to create more accountability and offer more protection against exploitation of Indian Women by their NRI spouses.
The Bill envisages the following provisions with a view to provide better enforcement of rights of the deserted spouse under various family laws:
(I) the compulsory registration of marriage within thirty days of marriage in India or abroad
(II) Amendment to the Passport Act to empower the Passport Authority to impound or revoke the passport of NRI spouses, if it is brought to the notice that the NRI has not registered the marriage within 30 days from the date of marriage.
(III) The amendment to CrPC, 1973 would empower the Courts for issuance of summons through the specially designated website of the Ministry of External Affairs.
(IV) Uploading of Summons on specially designated website of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India shall be conclusive evidence that the summons has been served against the person.
(V) Provides for attachment of properties belonging to NRI, if he does not appear before the Court and is declared as Proclaimed Offender by the Court.
The bill offers greater protection to Indian women married to NRIs and would serve as a deterrent to NRIs against harassment of their spouses.