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Victim Of NRI Marriages And Its Legal Resolution

Marriage are considered sacred but When we speak about marrying a NRI it can be both a boon or a bane, if it is considered as boon then well n good incase marrying NRI lead to a bane then there are many legal aspect which can help a bride to fight against it doesn't matter she is in India or any foreign country.

Meaning Of NRI

NRI: Non Residential Indian, the word we all are familiar with mostly a first choice of Indian parents while searching a groom for their daughter.

The word NRI is not explained or defined properly in any Indian Law except Income Tax Act and FEMA Act.

Section 6 of Income Tax Act, an individual is said to be non-resident of India if he is not a resident in India and an individual is deemed to be resident in India in any previous year if he satisfies any of the following conditions:
  1. If he is in India for a period of 182 days or more during the previous year; or
  2. If he is in India for a period of 60 days or more during the previous year and 365 days or more during 4 years immediately preceding the previous year.
As per the ministry of external affairs report there are 32 million NRIs and POIs residing outside India even recently till June 2023 870000 people gave up their citizenship.

NRI Marriages

General meaning of Marriage is the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship. NRI Marriage between a Non-Resident Indian and Indian citizen.

For a NRI Marriage legal requirements are same as for any other marriage in India. The couple must be of any legal age to marry and there must not be any kind legal prohibition.

The marriage must also be registered within 30 days of the date of the ceremony.

NRI Marriage can be performed in India or abroad. If the marriage is performed abroad, it must be registered at the nearest Indian embassy or consulate.

Laws That Governs NRI Marriage

Laws Governing The NRI's In Respect Of Marriage, Divorce, Maintenance And Custody Of NRI Marriage:
  • The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
  • The Special Marriage Act, 1954
  • The Foreign Marriage Act, 1969
  • Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956
  • The Divorce Act, 1869
  • The Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939
  • Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936
  • The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872

Issues In NRI Marriage

NRI Marriage is trending across these days but the issues that arose out of marrying NRI Bridegroom are addition to the issues that are being faced by Indian bride. Being getting married across the seas multiple issues arise as many challenges are phased as following:
  • Cultural Difference - NRI marriage often involves couples from different cultures, which can lead to misunderstanding and conflicts
  • Communication Problem - Time zone barriers and other differences often create difficulties for NRI couples to communicate effectively.
  • Being away from families and friends, many times the bride feels insecure and isolated, which can make it difficult to cope with problems in the marriage.
  • The NRI husbands sometimes provide false information and social status in order to get married.
  • Even sometimes she is taken abroad to be used like a maid and even locked in a room, subjecting them to physical and mental harassment.
  • Due to two different legal systems, the bridegroom takes advantage, and the bride fights for maintenance for herself as well as their child on foreign soil.
  • The husband obtains a divorce under foreign law on those grounds, trying to evade maintenance.

Importance Of NRI Bill 2019

The Registration of Marriage of NRI Bill 2019 is an important piece of legislation because it aims to protect Indian women married to NRIs from exploitation and harassment.

This bill makes it compulsory for NRIs to register marriage within 30 days of marriage and empowers the passport authority to impounds the passport of NRI who fails to do so.

The bill is important for the following reasons:
It will help to create a record of all NRI marriages and makes it easier for bride to seek legal resources
  • It will make it easier to deter NRIs from abandoning or harassing their spouses, as they will know that they could face consequences legally as well
  • It will help to protect the rights of children born from NRI marriages, as they will have a legal record of their parents marriage.
  • It will also help to reduce the number of bigamy and fraud involving NRI marriages.
As the bill is welcomed by women's and other organizations. However some critics have argued that the bill is too harsh and it could discourage and impact the NRIs marriages.

Although it is an important step towards protecting the rights of Indian women married to NRIs. Hoped that the bill will be passed by parliament soon and that it will make a significant difference in the lives of many women.

Legal Impact:
The legal impact of an NRI marriage can be complex and depending upon the countries involved.

Jurisdiction: The first issue to consider is which court has jurisdiction.
This will depend on the various factors such as:
  • Nationality of the spouses
  • The country where marriage is performed
  • Residence of the spouses
Generally, Indian Courts will have jurisdiction over marriage if either spouse is an Indian citizen or marriage performed in India. But if a spouse lives in a foreign country or got married in a foreign country, the Foreign Court also has jurisdiction. Applicable Law:
In India, NRI marriages are governed by the same laws as marriages between Indian residents. This means the personal laws of the spouses will apply, such as the Hindu Marriage Act, the Muslim personal law, or the Christian Divorce Act. Legal Rights And Obligations:
The legal rights and obligations of NRI spouses are the same as those of Indian resident spouses. This means NRI spouses have rights to alimony, custody, maintenance, children, and inheritance. Solution And Legal Help:
  • It's important to verify before getting married to an NRI.
  • Ask for a copy of the following documents relating to the overseas Indian spouse and keep a copy with you and your parents:
    1. Passport Number
    2. Proof of Address in Foreign Country
    3. Permanent residence status
    4. Social Security number
  • Please keep documentary proof like marriage photographs, wedding invitation, copy of the husband's passport, driving license, P.R./Visa for a foreign country, any other ID proof issued by the foreign country.
Do's In Overseas Marriages Are As Follows:
  • Keep a copy of the Marriage registration certificate.
  • Complete, with the help of your overseas Indian spouse, all the paperwork for the issue of a visa and other formalities before he/she leaves India.
  • Obtain an affidavit from the potential overseas Indian groom/bride about their marital status (that he/she is single).
  • Obtain a health/comprehensive insurance policy before arriving in the foreign country.
  • Once you reach the foreign country, keep your passport with you and at least one copy of the passport.
What To Do After Reaching Abroad:
  • Open a bank account in that country to withdraw money in an emergency and be financially independent.
  • Read and understand the laws of the foreign country and your rights there, especially against any form of abuse or neglect, ill-treatment, domestic violence, how to get a residence permit, etc.
  • After marriage, keep in touch on the phone and via email with friends and relatives in the foreign country.
  • Wherever possible, learn the language of the foreign country in which you are living.

How To File Case Living Over Seas:
  • The Ministry of External Affairs operates a scheme for giving legal/financial assistance to Indian women deserted by their overseas Indian/foreigner husbands through NGOs empanelled and legal organizations with Embassy / Consulate.
  • Such assistance is provided through Embassy / Consulate in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and the Gulf countries such as Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, KSA and UAE.
  • The amount of assistance provided per case under the scheme to deserted Indian women is upto USD 3,000 in developed countries and USD 2,000 in developing countries. Please contact the Welfare Officer or the Indian Community Officer of the concerned Indian Embassy/ Consulate for further details.

How To Apply For Legal And Financial Assistance Provided By Indian Ministry

You may see the guidelines; complete the form available on the website of MEA ( The applications for providing legal aid received by the Indian Missions/Posts are examined by the Mission/Post on case-to-case basis and approved by the Mission/Post, before they are sent to Ministry.

The applicant has to submit completed form and relevant documents such as:
  1. Photocopy of marriage certificate
  2. Photocopy of Indian passport
  3. Declaration of annual income
  4. Declaration that no criminal case is pending against the applicant
  5. Declaration that the applicant holds only an Indian Passport
  6. Details of the present status of the case filed; which after completing can be forwarded either to the concerned Indian Embassy/Mission/Post or to the Overseas Indian Affairs II Division, Ministry of External Affairs.

The completed applications should be sent to the Joint Secretary(Overseas Indian Affairs-II,) Ministry of External Affairs, E Block, Central Secretariat, New Delhi. Telephone No.: 011-24676210 Fax No.: 011-26882431 Email: [email protected]

When Husband Abonons Wife And Children Overseas

Contact your family, relatives and friends both in India and foreign country and seek their help, advice or assistance.

The Indian Mission through their empaneled NGOs, local community welfare associations can assist in filing a case approaching NGOs, contacting your family or seeking legal advice, provide shelter for some days.

List of NGOs, lawyers, Indian Associations, in foreign countries registered/empanelled is at the web link : may contact them to seek assistance.

What are the rights of women against exploitation in the context of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act enacted in 2005)?
  • Right against physical/sexual exploitation (498A IPC)
  • Right against economic exploitation (S.125 of CrPC)
  • Right to compensation against desertion (1994 6 SCC 641).
  • Right to keep the children below 5 years under the custody of the mother.
  • Right to back matrimonial presents.
  • Right against dowry.
  • Right against cruelty, bodily harassment, torture, etc.
  • Right against domestic violence

Role Of National Commission For Women (NCW)

National Commission for Women in New Delhi is the nodal authority and the apex national level organization of India with the mandate of protecting and promoting the interests of women.

Contact Details:
NRI Cell- National Commission for Women , Plot-21,FC33.Institutional Area, Jasola, New Delhi-110025 Telephone Number: 9873628941/7827170170  Email: [email protected]

NCW enables women to submit their complaints from any corner of the world.

Depending upon the nature of the complaint, they take the following actions:
  1. Notices/Summons are issued to the opposite party/parties/concerned authorities calling upon them, to furnish their reply on the complaint received or to appear in NCW and respond to the complaint.
  2. Complaints are forwarded to the police authorities for action taken reports, where any matter is pending for investigation or any failure on their part to take appropriate action.
  3. Complaints are forwarded to Indian Embassies abroad for desired action at their end.
  4. Complaints are forwarded to Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Law and Justice for expediting the service of summons, warrants issued, or any orders passed by the appropriate courts of law.
  5. Complaints are forwarded to the Passport Authorities for matters relating to Passports.
  6. If necessary, complaints can be forwarded to the employers of the respondent husband to take necessary action against him.

The legal impact of an NRI marriage can be very depending on the specific circumstances of individual situation and case. However, it is important to be aware of the general legal consideration that apply to all NRI marriages,such as jurisdiction, specific legal issues such as divorce, custody of child and maintenance.

If someone is planning to get married to an NRI one should be aware of legal consequences their rights, helpline number and other important guidelines issued by govt. one must be strong and handle the situation wisely as there is many helping hand and every situation can be dealt only you should ensure that you understand your rights and obligation.

Written By: Shivani Sharma

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