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Cabinet approves Registration of Marriage of NRI Bill, 2019

Date: 14 February 2019 Tags: Bills & Laws

Union Cabinet has approved introduction of Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Bill, 2019 in Parliament. The bill aims at creating   more legal   accountability and offer more protection against exploitation of Indian citizens, mostly women by their NRI spouses.

The bill envisages (i) Registration of Marriages by NRIs (ii) amendment of Passports Act, 1967 and (iii) amendment to Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC ) 1973. It has been introduced in Rajya Sabha and will remain pending there, as it would not lapse on dissolution of present 16th Lok Sabha in June 2019

Features of Bill

  • Its provisions will be applicable to NRIs marrying Indian women within or even outside India and vice versa.
  • It makes registration of marriage compulsory within thirty days of marriage in India or abroad for better enforcement of rights of deserted spouse under various family laws.
  • It clearly states that if NRI marries  Indian citizen in India then marriage has to be registered as per local laws and if  marriage takes place abroad, it has to be registered with designated officers to be appointed in foreign countries.
  • It amends Passport Act to empower passport authority to impound or revoke passport of NRI, failing to register his/her marriage within 30 days from date of marriage.
  • It amends CrPC, 1973 to empower Courts to issue summons, warrants through specially designated website of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
  • It also provides provisions for attachment of properties belonging to the NRI, if he does not appear before Court and to declare him as Proclaimed Offender by Court.

Significance of Bill

  • Introduction of Bill was necessitated by MEA due to numerous complaints received from Indian nationals mostly women deserted or harassed by their NRI Spouses.
  • It offers greater protection to Indian women married to NRIs and serve as deterrent to NRIs against harassment of their spouses.
  • This will provide much needed relief to all Indian women married to NRIs worldwide and create more accountability and offer protection against exploitation of Indian Citizens.
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