Indian Govt to Issue 5 Look-out Circulars Over NRI Marital Disputes
The decision was taken during the third meeting of the Integrated Nodal Agency held in Delhi.
The Indian Ministry of Women and Child Development will issue five Look-out Circulars (LoC) pertaining to Non-Resident Indian (NRI) matrimonial disputes, according to a statement.
The decision was taken following the third meeting of the Integrated Nodal Agency (INA), held in New Delhi on April 17, which was headed by WCD ministry secretary Rakesh Srivastava. The agency was constituted last year to work on issues related to NRI matrimonial disputes.
“The Integrated Nodal Agency has also deliberated on the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to streamline the process of dealing with the cases of NRI matrimonial disputes. The SOPs would also define the responsibilities of authorities concerned with specified timelines and keep the women informed on the progress,” the WCD ministry said in a statement.
The ministry also took to the social media to update about the five LoCs.
— Ministry of WCD (@MinistryWCD) April 17, 2018
In criminal matter involving NRIs, a look-out circular can be issued by the investigating agency for cognizable offenses. The LoCs can be issued when the NRI husband is deliberately evading arrest or not appearing in the trial court despite issuance of non-bailable warrants and other coercive measures. It is also issued when there is a possibility that NRI husband may leave the country to evade trial or arrest.
The LoC will be issued after the case is scrutinized by the National Commission for Women. The NCW was nominated as the coordinating agency at the national level to handle issues related to NRI marriages.
“The SOP will enable the women facing such disputes to seek redressal in a time bound manner Any woman can now approach MWCD for the purpose of tracing her NRI husband by having a LoC issued,” Maneka Gandhi, the Minister of Women and Child Development, said in a statement.
The Indian government has been receiving complaints of frauds, abandonment, domestic violence, and extra-marital relationships related to NRI marriages. The other complaints received by the government are ex-parte divorce, women being duped of money after promising marriage, forceful or illegal retention of children’s custody, and non-payment of maintenance.
“A large number of NRI matrimonial dispute cases remain pending on account of non-appearance of the perpetrator, jeopardizing women and children’s future,” the statement added.
The government informed the Lok Sabha on March 14 that 3,768 complaints were received by Indians missions and posts in foreign shores from distressed Indian women during 2014-17. Most complaints are related to dowry and ill-treatment by NRI husbands.
In February, the central government suggested key changes in the code of criminal procedure (CrPC), seeking to declare NRI husbands who desert their wives in India and don’t respond to court summons in the case thrice as “absconders.” Properties belonging to these people as well as their families would be confiscated as per the proposal, Gandhi had said on Feb. 12.