Things to keep in Mind Before Marrying an NRI

A newly married woman is often 'isolated', away from home in an alien land, with language constraints, communication problems, and a lack of appropriate local criminal justice, police, and legal system knowledge in NRI marriages. This article explores the things they and their families must keep in mind before entering into an alliances and what to do in case they face a breakdown of their marriage in foreign territory.

Wed Jun 29 2022 | Family Law | Comments (0)

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The law intends to discharge certain marital responsibilities because marriage creates roles, conjugal relations, and certain rights between the spouses. In India, conjugal rights are regarded as a natural part of the institution of marriage rather than a legal construct. The growing number of NRI marriage frauds has been a source of concern within the sacred institution of marriage. As a result, the Indian government created an expert committee to discuss this new problem in NRI marriages, and its report was submitted in 2017. The Integrated Nodal Agency (INA), headed by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and comprised of senior officials from the Ministries of External Affairs, Home Affairs, Law and Justice, and Women and Child Development, was established in response to the committee's various recommendations.

Issues in NRI Marriages

The key issues and challenges faced by women trapped in deceptive NRI marriages include their lack of awareness of the risk of being rejected by their husband soon after marriage. The majority of women are affected when their husbands take advantage of lenient grounds for divorce in other legal systems, leaving them without redress. Some of the problems that occur in NRI marriages are as follows:

  1. To trick her into marrying him, he had given her false information about his employment, immigration status, earnings, property, legal status, and other material details.
  2. A brutally beaten, abused, mentally and physically tortured, malnourished, detained, and ill-treated woman who was forced to escape or was returned forcibly.
  3. A woman who is abandoned by her NRI husband right before he takes her to the foreign country where he lives.
  4. A hasty marriage, complete with a lavish wedding, a large dowry, and a honeymoon, after which the NRI husband departs India, while the wife awaits her visa.
  5. A woman who flew to her husband's home country and waited for him at an international airport only to discover that he would not be arriving at all.
  6. An NRI's husband was already married to a woman from another country.
  7. A woman who pursued maintenance or divorce in an Indian or foreign court but repeatedly ran into technical legal obstacles such as court jurisdiction, service of notices or orders, or enforcement of orders, or discovered that her husband was taking retaliatory action in the other country.

In Smt. Anubha v. Vikas Aggarwal, the Supreme Court held that, as laid down by the Apex Court in Y. Narasimha Rao and Ors. vs. Y. Venkata Lakshmi and Anr., the primary and foremost condition of recognising a far-off matrimonial judgement is that the relief should be given to the claimant on the grounds available under the personal law that the couple used to get married.

In another Supreme Court case, Dipak Banerjee vs. Sudipta Banerjee, the husband argued that no Indian court had jurisdiction in a foreign sense to entertain and search out proceedings brought by his wife under Section 125 for maintenance, claiming that he appeared to be an American citizen and his wife's domicile followed him. The Court held that when there is a conflict of laws, each case must be decided according to Indian law, and that personal law rules enforced in other countries should not be followed by Indian courts automatically. The Court held that the husband's objection was without merit in light of the purpose and social intent of Sections 125 and 126, and that the Indian Court's jurisdiction was upheld because it was the court in which she usually resided.

Safety Measures

Things to verify about the Groom before marriage

Guardians can review different accounts of a man from the previous hour. It helps to mitigate the risk of misrepresentation to a degree. Only a small number of documents should be checked, and in such cases, a photocopy of the documentation should be held.

  • Visas and passports
  • Outsider enlistment card for voters
  • Number of standardised savings
  • Assessment forms for the previous three financial balance numbers, as well as announcements
  • Permit No. 5
  • Documents Related to Real Estate
  • Relationship Status
  • Business nuances (capability, post, compensation, address of the Office, bosses and their accreditations)
  • Status of Migration (type of Visa, qualification to take the life partner to the next nation)

Safety measures parents should  take to diminish the risks of Misrepresentation in NRI relationships and protect their loved ones in foreign lands:

  • Continue to go for enrolled marriages in addition to strict marriages, and hold adequate evidence, such as photography and video accounts.
  • Keep a strategic distance from hastily planned and mystery weddings. 
  • Open an account solely in the wife’s name outside home, which can be utilized if there should arise an occurrence of crisis. 
  • Guarantee that photocopies/checked duplicates of significant archives like marriage endorsement, Visa, Passport, are kept safely.
  • Keep the declaration/photocopy of the marriage all the time with you. 
  • Continuously stay in contact with the family members and companions and keep them informed about yourself. 
  • In any circumstance, do not give your identification or visa to any unknown individual.

Legitimate Mechanism to Address NRI marriages Issues

Incorporated Nodal Agency

The Ministries of Women and Child Development, External Affairs, and Law and Justice met to discuss the growing problem of NRI relationships, which includes inter-service issues. In order to protect such women, an Integrated Nodal Agency (INA) has been created to investigate all issues related to NRI Marital Debates on a regular basis. Significant adjustments will occur as a result of these actions, including the likelihood of identity repudiation/appropriation.

All cases involving NRI conjugal debate must be forwarded to the National Commission for Women (NCW) for review by all providers.

Enrolment of Marriages by Non-Resident Indians

The Ministry of External Affairs introduced the Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill, 2019 in the Rajya Sabha, which mandates mandatory enrolment of NRI relationships with penalties for non-enlistment. Any NRI who marries an Indian citizen must have their marriage registered in India within thirty days, according to the bill. Furthermore, every NRI who marries an Indian national or another NRI outside of India must register their marriage with the Marriage Officer within thirty days. The Marriage Officer is chosen from among the conciliation officials of the remote country. The bill on compulsory registration of firearms was approved by the Parliamentary standing committee in March 2020.

Key Features of the Bill

  • Marriage registration: A non-resident Indian (NRI) is an Indian citizen who lives outside the country. If an NRI marries an Indian citizen or another NRI, the marriage must be registered within 30 days. If the wedding takes place
  • outside of India, it must be registered with a Marriage Officer, who will be selected from among the country's diplomatic officers.
  • Passport Impoundment: The bill amends the Passports Act of 1967 to allow the passport authority to impound or revoke an NRI's passport if he or she fails to register his or her marriage within 30 days.
  • Issue of summons and warrants: The current procedure for issuing summonses and warrants is outlined in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC). The Bill adds a section to the CrPC that states that if a court decides that summons cannot be served on a person, it may upload the summons to the Ministry of External Affairs' designated website, despite other provisions of the CrPC. This will serve as evidence that the summons was sent to the individual. A warrant for arrest may be released and posted to the same website if the person summoned fails to appear in court. If the person fails to appear in court after that, the court will declare him a proclaimed offender  and post a notice on the court's website.

If an individual fails to appear after the proclamation is issued, the court will issue a written statement confirming that the proclamation was issued. This statement will be definitive proof that the warrant had been released and served. The court may also require the proclaimed offender's land to be attached.

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