India Suspends Passports of 60 NRIs Accused of Abandoning Wives
The Regional Passport Office in Chandigarh has been suspending passports of NRIs who have deserted their wives shortly after marriage.
Indian passport authorities have suspended passports of 60 Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) accused of deserting their wives in India shortly after marriage.
In May this year, the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Chandigarh started the process of suspending the passport following complaints filed by the abandoned wives. It has so far suspended 60 passports.
Most NRIs whose Indian passports have been suspended are based in Australia and Canada, SBS Australia reported, citing information received from Chandigarh’s Regional Passport Officer, Sibash Kabiraj.
While the Indian government is not insisting on the deportation of these NRIs, it’s informing the Australian authorities about the status of the affected NRIs’ passports, Kabiraj told SBS. Once a passport is suspended, all the valid visas in the passport are revoked, making the passport holder an illegal immigrant in their country of residence. And if the person is in India, he is barred from traveling overseas.
“This effectively means that those passports are not valid now and that makes all the visas linked to those passports invalid too,” Kabiraj said. “It’s up to the Australian authorities to act now that they know these people are illegally in their country.”
There are over about 40,000 women from Punjab and Haryana, who have been abandoned within months after marriage to a NRI groom without a legal divorce, the Times of India reported.
Earlier this year, the Chandigarh RPO started a helpline to assist the deserted wives to seek help. Over 50 women call the helpline daily, and are assisted by volunteers in filing complaints against their husbands, the report added.
“We receive calls every day and we act on those where there’s evidence – such as a court order or non-compliance with the summons of a court,” Kabiraj told SBS.
The RPO has received 2,000 complaints and will start processing them soon. Around 70 percent of such cases are from Punjab, according to the Times of India.
The Indian government has strengthened its effort against absentee NRIs in the recent months, with active backing from the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare.
Punjab’s NRI Commission has recommended suspension of as many as 25 passports in the last two months, the Times of India added.
The Chandigarh RPO started suspending passports after it was flooded with complaints. It’s acting against NRIs against whom FIRs have been registered and courts have issued summons or warrants.
The passports were suspended after the show-cause notices to truant NRIs did not elicit any reply.