The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 13 February 2019 approved the introduction of Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Bill, 2019 to create more accountability to Indian citizens living abroad.
The bill mainly seeks to offer more protection against the exploitation of Indian citizens, mostly Indian women by their NRI partners.
1. The Bill provides for amendment of the legal framework to act as a deterrent to the erring NRI spouses and creating more accountability and offer protection against exploitation of Indian Citizens, especially women married to NRIs.
2. According to the proposed amendments, if the marriage isn’t registered within 30 days, the passport of the NRI will be revoked, summons and warrant be issued.
3. Under the new bill, a marriage between an NRI and an Indian citizen will have to be registered in India or Indian missions and posts abroad within 30 days from the date of marriage.
4. After the bill’s passing, the necessary changes would be carried out in the Passports Act, 1967 and Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 by insertion of Section 86A.
5. Despite all this, if the NRI fails to appear in court, his properties will be attached and he will be declared ‘Proclaimed Offender’.
The bill has been introduced with the hope of restricting NRI husbands from using marriage as a tool of exploitation and making money and providing better enforcement of rights for the deserted woman under the family laws. The introduction of the Bill was necessitated due to numerous complaints received from Indian nationals mostly women, who were deserted or harassed by their Non-Resident Indian Spouses.