Law panel recommends law to register NRI marriages to check fraudulent marriages

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The Law Commission, in a report submitted to the Union government, has suggested a comprehensive law to register marriages of non-resident Indians (NRIs) to deal with situations arising out of “fraudulent marriages”.

Submitting the report “Law on Matrimonial Issues Relating to Non-Resident Indians and Overseas Citizens of India” to the Law Ministry, Law Commission Chairman Justice (retired) Ritu Raj Awasthi said the commission is of the opinion that the proposed central legislation should be comprehensive enough to cater to all facets involving marriages of NRIs as well as foreign citizens of Indian origin with that of Indian citizens.

“The rising occurrence of fraudulent marriages involving Non-Resident Indians [NRIs] marrying Indian partners is a worrisome trend. Several reports highlight an increasing pattern where these marriages turn out to be deceptive, putting Indian spouses, especially women, in precarious situations,” Justice Awasthi said in his covering letter to Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal on Thursday.

The law panel report said the comprehensive central legislation should also include provisions on divorce, maintenance of spouse, custody and maintenance of children, serving of summons, warrants, or judicial documents on the NRIs and Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs).

“It is further recommended that all marriages between the NRIs/OCIs and Indian citizens should be made compulsorily registered in India,” Justice Awasthi said.

The Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indians Bill, 2019, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on February 11, 2019.

Subsequently, the Bill was referred to the Committee on External Affairs after the 17th (present) Lok Sabha was constituted, for further examination.

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