In an attempt to address the problem of NRI men marrying Indian women, abandoning them later and absconding from appearing in courts, the Centre is proposing attaching the man's and his parents' properties in India, subjecting them to seizure. The Centre is also proposing changes in the code of criminal procedure (CrPC) and to declare such men 'absconders' if they fail to appear in the court after three summons.
According to a report in Times of India, the MEA has written to the home ministry and the law ministry to consider the proposed amendments.
Maneka Gandhi also said that if this change comes through in CrPc, then it will not be possible for deserter NRI husbands to evade court summons. "After three summons it will be considered that the man is absconding and his name is proposed to be added to a list of absconders on the MEA website," the women and child development (WCD) minister said.
Such attachment of properties is done in civil cases to either compel the accused to appear in court or to give monetary support to the complainant.
According to reports, recent statistics show that the MEA received 3,328 distressed calls from NRI wives between January 2015 and November 2017.
The government has been trying to address this issue for a while now, including the commissioning of an Integrated Nodal Agency under the WCD that would look into complaints related to NRI marriages. However, all these moves have been restrictive due to the government's inability to enforce a large number of Indian laws in such disputes.
This proposal is a complex one at best, and is under examination from the law ministry.
The WCD ministry has also proposed a change in the CrPC that would allow survivors of child sexual abuse to file complaints years after the crime and/or when the survivor becomes an adult. This would, however, require a change in the statute of limitations.
"The substance of this change would be that if you have been molested at some point in time when you were a minor, then you are still entitled to get justice," WCD minister Maneka Gandhi said.