Cabinet DecisionsLegislation Updates

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the introduction of Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Bill, 2019, for creating more accountability and offering more protection against exploitation of Indian citizens, mostly women by their NRI spouses.

Details:

The Bill provides for amendment of the legal framework to act as a deterrent to the erring NRI spouses and creating more accountability and offer protection against exploitation of Indian Citizens married to NRIs.

Once the Bill is passed, marriages performed by NRIs would be registered in India or Indian Missions & Posts abroad, and necessary changes would be carried out in the:

  1. Passports Act, 1967; and
  2. Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 by insertion of Section 86A.

Major Impact:

Serving Judicial summons for Court proceedings in India is a major problem, which would be taken care of by this Bill by amending the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Thus, the Bill would offer great protection to Indian citizens married to NRIs and serve as a deterrent to NRIs against harassment of their spouses. This Bill would benefit Indian women married to NRIs worldwide.

[Source: PIB]

Cabinet

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

The Integrated Nodal Agency (INA), decided to issue one more Look-out-Circular (LoC). The Ministry has already issued 6 LoCs since April 2018, after examining the complaints received regarding NRI matrimonial disputes. The INA meets regularly to discuss issues related to NRI matrimonial disputes and chart the way forward.

In criminal matters involving NRI’s, LoC could be issued by the INA in cognizable offences, when the overseas husband is deliberately evading arrest or not appearing in the trial court despite non-bailable warrants and other coercive measures or there is a likelihood that he will leave the country to evade trial or arrest. The LoC will be issued after having the case scrutinised by NCW.

Ministry of Women and Child Development

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The High Court of Punjab and Haryana decided on the matter arising before it from a civil suit pending before the Court of Civil Judge (Junior Division), Samrala, the issue whether Sucha Singh (petitioner witness), who was residing at USA, can be allowed to be examined by way of Video Conferencing.

The Court vide order dated 16.10.2015 passed in CR 6571 of 2014 allowed the same stating that the witness can be confronted with the documents with close proximity to the camera. Petitioner was given liberty to choose a public authority where such facility was available and inform the Court. Alternatively, the petitioner was given option to identify the Indian Consulate in the nearest place from his residence and produce the Court order to secure the permission for hearing. The petitioner was to make himself available during the court working hours in India and give a date which is mutually convenient to the Court and the Consulate or the Public Office.

The Court was of the view that the evidence of the petitioner was very material and therefore his evidence was required to be recorded. However, noticing the difference of time between India and USA, the Court was of the opinion that approaching the Public Authority at night time to allow video conferencing facility was unfeasible. The Court opined that as video conferencing is now available through many applications like Facetime, Whatsapp, Skype etc. there is no necessity of approaching the nearest Consulate.

The Court allowed examination of the petitioner by way of video conferencing through Mobile or Computer on an application, and the time and date of the same would be communicated to the trail court. The witness is to be identified by the opposite party or any other person nominated by them. The Court further ordered supply of photocopy of any document which is sought to be put to the witness in advance to the opposite party and witness himself, so that he may answer on the said document. [Sucha Singh v. Ajmer Singh, 2018 SCC OnLine P&H 637, order dated 17-05-2018]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: In the petition seeking E-voting rights for the NRIs, the Central Government told the Court that it was willing to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1951 in order to give the option of E-voting to NRIs. The Court has given 2 weeks time to the Centre to respond as to what changes will be made in the Act.

On 15.07.2017, the bench of J.S. Khehar, CJ and Dr. D. Y. Chandrachud asked the Central Government to apprise it within a week as to whether it is going to amend the election law or rules for enabling non-resident Indians (NRIs) to vote in elections in India by way of E-voting.

Source: ANI