Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill, 2019

The government has introduced the Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill, 2019 in the Parliament. The bill was introduced by the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj in the Rajya Sabha.

Features of the Bill

The Bill aims to arrest the cases of Indian women being trapped in fraudulent marriages with non-resident Indians (NRI). The important features of the bill are:

  • The bill mandates the Non-Resident Indians who marry an Indian citizen or a fellow NRI abroad to compulsorily register their marriages within 30 days.
  • Failure to register their marriage would face the prospects of their passports being impounded or even revoked.
  • The bill allows courts to attach movable and immovable properties of NRIs who are declared “proclaimed offenders” for failing to appear before the law.
  • The bill allows courts to send summonses and warrants to the accused through a specially designated website to be hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • The bill amends the Passport Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure to allow passport authorities to revoke or impound passport or travel documents of the accused, and allow courts to attach their properties.
  • The bill clearly states that if an NRI marries an Indian citizen here, the marriage has to be registered as per local laws and if the marriage takes place abroad, it has to be registered with designated officers to be appointed in foreign countries.

The Bill proposes to offer greater protection to Indian women married to NRIs and serve as a deterrent to NRIs against harassment of their spouses.

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