Experts favour barring ex-parte divorce by foreign courts

Highlighting the inadequacies of existing legislations in NRI marriages, experts at a panel discussion on the issue opined that certain provisions need to be there regarding international protocol and jurisdiction issues.

They favoured simplification of procedure for quick issuance of visa by foreign missions in India to deserted women to enable them to contest the proceedings filed by NRI/PIO husband in a foreign land.

Introduction of a system of cross-check or consent when an NRI/PIO husband wants to cancel sponsorship of his spouse's visa, barring ex-parte divorce by foreign courts in the case of marriages solemnised in India as per Indian law and not permitting deportation of the woman in order to let her contest the case were some of the other points of discussion.

The experts also demanded that cases of domestic discord should be included in the scope of extradition treaties. The seminar was organised by the National Commission for Women in co-ordination with the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

The NCW demanded recognition as an authorised body to directly file applications before foreign courts and foreign missions on behalf of aggrieved women wherever required. Minister for Women and Child Krishna Tirath said that the government was doing all it could to address the issues related to NRI marriages.

There should be compulsory registration of NRI marriages, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Basant K Gupta said adding that there should also be a sworn affidavit honouring marriages solemnised in India.

NCW can immediately approach the Superintendent of Police and present all the facts to assist the officer concerned to issue the lookout circular against the opposite party.
Tirath said officers from the Indian Embassy in various countries should visit the NRI homes to ensure the well-being of the girls' who are married to NRI men.

NGOs and religious bodies could put up informative pamphlets and boards to register NRI marriages. This will be extremely helpful in case of desertion or legal proceedings, she said.

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