In order to uphold the sanctity of marriage, the government is all set to make changes in the law to apprehend absconding NRI husbands who desert their lawfully wedded spouse. Additional measures would be introduced which will facilitate confiscation of the property of a run-away NRI groom if he fails or neglects to answer a court summon, which is a legal notice to appear before a court of law.
In a series of cases, as reported by the Times of India, majority of which originated in Punjab, NRIs have been reported marrying Indian women by giving assurances of a lavish lifestyle abroad. However, soon after tying the knot, they abandon their spouse and leave them in a state of helplessness. Taking cognizance of the misuse, a group of senior ministers in the government, which include Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Maneka Gandhi, and Ravi Shankar Prasad, have suggested measures to curb such a behavior.
It is proposed that any NRI marriage which has been solemnised has to be compulsorily registered within 48 hours of the wedding. Additionally, a dedicated website, to be introduced by the Ministry of External Affairs, will be used to serve summons on fleeing NRI husbands. If an accused if found evading a traditional summons, a copy of the same would be uploaded on the website and the same would be deemed to have been lawfully served to the requisite individual. This move has been taken to curtail offenders from moving to different countries, or changing identities once a legal process has begun.
More stringent measures like revocation of passports, declaring an offender as an absconder, are still under deliberations. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, The Special Marriage Act, 1954, The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the Passport Rules, require amendment for the said measures to take effect.