NRI divorce frauds: Men try to avoid Indian courts

 Experts from the Telangana State Women’s Commission, which is executing legal battles against NRI grooms who have deserted their wives, say that there must be a legal course of action to address NRI divorce frauds. The Commission has suggested various remedies including the introduction of a treaty to disallow courts abroad from handling cases pertaining to marriages solemnised in India. The Commission has held this position with the National Commission and the Ministry of External Affairs for years.

Tripurana Venkat Ratnam, the Chair-person of the State Women’s Commission, says, “There must be a treaty to forbid other countries from handling cases pertaining to marriages that have been solemnised as per Indian laws.” The Supreme Court in its various judgements has maintained that a divorce granted by a foreign court stands invalid in India. This means that a woman who has been married in India but divorced abroad is entitled to contest for maintenance and custody rights in India.

Advocate Anita Salabh says that the problem is that women usually do not have copies of the divorce orders issued abroad, without whi-ch they are unable to file cases in India. However, if a woman participates in divorce proceedings abroad, then courts in India have to honour the foreign court’s judgement. The Women’s Commission asks for the sensitisation of embassies on matters pertaining to wom-en’s issues. “The embassy only acts on cases which involve high-profile clients. Common people may not be allowed to avail of facilities such as confiscation of the passport of the accused and red-cornering,” says advocate Vani Suri. The Commission’s proposal also asks for lawyers to be trained to deal with complex cases until the implementation of a strict law.

Advocates also suggest that remedies must be in place right from the start. “Since complications arise in arranged marriages as well, parents must ensure that their daughters receive some form of security which they can invoke to support themselves,” says Advocate Vani Suri.

Reposted from Deccan Chronicle

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