Law needed to help jilted NRI wives

Transcript of speech of H K Dua, MP,  in the Rajya Sabha during the debate on the Marriage (Amendment) Bill on May 2, 2012.

H K Dua (Nominated): Thank you, Mr Vice-Chairman,

Sir. I support the Bill because it is a forward-looking measure. And, if there are some legal glitches on which there are differences, I am sure the Minister of Law and the Leader of the Opposition will be able to tackle these — to the satisfaction of the House.

In his opening statement, the Law Minister emphasized that the Bill essentially deals with irretrievable marriages. However, there are kinds of irretrievable marriages which are not covered by this Bill, and, I would like the Law Minister to keep these in mind. He would know in what form he would like to come before the House to pass legislation to help those women who are sufferers of this kind of irretrievable marriages. Sir, I am referring to irretrievable marriages of unfortunate NRI wives.

Many people from India go abroad. To facilitate their visa, they marry here and, when they reach a foreign country, they dump their wives, or they send them back home. Their tales of woes are very, very grim, and the House needs to know  K Dua(Nominated):

Thank youH KK whether the Government will do something about the problem. This problem is there in other States also but, in Punjab, NRI wives – jilted NRI  wives — have even formed an association, and, if you talk to any member of this association, you will hear tragic tales. 

Indian law does not help abroad, the law of the country, to where they go, also does not help, and, the husband is having good time abroad.  Sometimes, the husbands keep the wives’ passports with them. And, these wives are  treated as mere housemaids. I have a feeling that the Government of India needs to do something for these NRI wives by law to help them.  Our missions abroad give a help of US $ 1,500 to these women in distress, which is worth not much. . You cannot engage a lawyer with this paltry amount. Something ought to be done. This question of raising this amount came up in the Standing Committee, and the financial help may be raised to US $ 3,000. 

I am asking for a law. There should be a law for irretrievable marriages of NRIs, besides the present Bill before this House.  I would like the Bill before the House to be passed today. Besides this law, there should be another law to protect the legal and economic rights of NRI women who have been dumped by their husbands. I will be very happy if the Law Minister looks into this question urgently and come before Parliament with a suitable legislation.

Thank you, Mr Vice-Chairman