The MEA is developing a portal where summons and warrants against absconding NRI husbands would be served, and if the accused does not respond he would be declared a proclaimed offender and his property would be attached, Union minister Sushma Swaraj said on Friday.
She said for coming up with such a portal, there needs to be amendments in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc) that would allow district magistrate to accept such summons and warrants put on the portal to be “deemed as served”.
The External Affairs minister said the Law Ministry, Legislative Assembly, Home Ministry and the Women and Child Development Ministry have agreed on the proposal.
Swaraj said the move aims to prevent NRI marriages where husbands abandon their wives and abscond or mentally and physically abuse them after marriage in a foreign country.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, 3,328 complaints have been received during the last three years (January 2015 to November, 2017) from distressed Indian women deserted by their NRI spouses.
In a bid to prevent such fraudulent marriages, the Ministry of External Affairs is developing a portal, where summons and warrants against absconding NRI husbands would be served, and if the accused does not respond he would be declared a proclaimed offender and his property would be “attached”, Swaraj said.
Attachment is a legal process by which at the request of a creditor, designates specific property owned by the debtor to be transferred to the creditor, or sold for the benefit of the creditor.
The creditor, in this case, would be the victim.
“We are trying if the amendments could be introduced in the Cabinet and we would try to get it passed in the next Parliament session,” she said at the national conference on NRI Marriages and Trafficking of Women and Children.
But in the meantime, an inter-ministerial committee has been established for which the Ministry of Women and Child Development is the nodal authority.
The committee also has members from the Law Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs and based on their recommendations lookout notices against eight absconders have been issued and their passports have been cancelled.
“The accused whose passports were revoked have surrendered,” she added.
A Women and Child Development official has said the committee has received 70 complaints in the last two months based on which the National Commission for Women conducted its probe and recommended cancellation of eight passports.