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NRI Care

NRI Care

Increasing Legal Issues in Inter-Country Marriages

The 22nd Law Commission of India, under Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, has made an important recommendation regarding the marriages between Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)/Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) and Indian citizens. The commission has brought attention to the growing number of legal challenges emerging from inter-country marriages. It noted that these unions often involve complex legal situations, especially when fraudulent actions are involved.

Tackling Fraudulent Marriages and Protecting Indian Spouses

A disturbing trend of deceitful marriages has come to light, where NRIs engage in misleading practices that leave Indian spouses, particularly women, in a state of hardship and deception. False promises and abandonment were highlighted as recurrent issues leading to distress for partners residing in India. The unique nature of these cross-border liaisons makes it hard for the aggrieved party to seek prompt and effective legal recourse.

Proposed Legislation for Better Protection

To address these issues effectively, the 22nd Law Commission urges the introduction of a comprehensive central law. This legislation should include distinct measures addressing divorce procedures, spousal maintenance, custody and maintenance of children, and the servicing of legal documents such as summons or warrants upon NRIs and OCIs.

Amendment to Passports Act for Safer Marital Bonds

Amongst various proposals, there is a significant recommendation for amending the Passports Act, of 1967. This amendment aims to incorporate marital status declarations and link spouse passports by adding Marriage Registration Numbers offering better transparency and safety measures.

Collaboration for Increased Awareness

The Law Commission also advised that government bodies join hands with women’s commissions and non-governmental organizations within India and Indian associations abroad to run educational programs. The Law Commission will direct these programs at women planning matrimony with NRI or OCI partners to inform them about their rights and available support systems.

Legal Scrutiny of The NRI Marriage Registration Bill

The parliament introduced the Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indians Bill in February 2019, but the Committee on External Affairs is currently reviewing it. The Ministry of External Affairs sought a detailed assessment from the Law Commission for this pending bill which addresses issues related to transnational marital laws.