NCW calls for law to protect NRI brides: Holiday husband syndrome
22 January 2010
NEW DELHI: Pressing for a separate legislation on marital issues involving non-resident Indians, the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Thursday said that the phenomena of `holiday husbands' - NRI grooms who marry in India for dowry and desert their wives - was on a steady rise. NCW chairperson Girija Vyas said the commission's NRI cell, which was set up six months back, had received as many as 177 complaints relating to marital discord. About 331 such complaints have been received by the ministry of overseas Indian affairs in the past one year.
``A maximum of 130 complaints were received from the US followed by Britain (44) and Canada (37). Among the states, maximum of 87 complaints were received from victims originating from Punjab, followed by Delhi (59) and Haryana (21),'' Vyas added.
The commission has recommended a separate legislation that will address issues including matrimonial discord, maintenance of spouses and children, child custody, settlement of matrimonial property amongst others. ``This can serve as a comprehensive ready reference for foreign courts deciding litigation between NRI and Indian citizens,'' Vyas said. This is also likely to address concerns raised by the Law Commission on the absence of rules of private international law.
The NCW has also recommended compulsory registration of NRI marriages and has appealed to the Centre to effectively represent to governments of all foreign countries, particularly those with a large NRI presence, to give effect to international law like provisions in the Hague Convention which deal with issues of overseas marriages.
The commission said the ministry of external affairs through its embassies abroad should sensitize the home departments of foreign countries about issues regarding dowry demands and other problems faced by women.
Vyas also suggesting an amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act to ensure protection of the rights of victims of failed marriages. She said there was scope for making changes in the process for issuing passports as well.