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Central government proposes to seize properties of absconding NRI husbands

February 13, 2018

In a bid to provide relief to the wives of “absconding” NRIs and to address the marital disputes of such couples, the central government is considering of enacting a law that shall empower the authorities to attach the properties of such NRI husbands or their family members. The government is also examining the possibility of declaring such husbands as proclaimed offenders. 

According to a News18 report, the Ministry of External Affairs has received a total of 3,328 distress calls from Indian women married to NRI, between January 1, 2015, and November 30, 2017. The complaints were either with respect to their absconding husbands or complaint of harassment, dowry demand, domestic violence, physical abuse and seizure of passports. 

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has confirmed that the proposal to seize the property of the husband has already been made and soon there would be a legal remedy for abandoned women to claim justice. The Ministry further said that where any case is pending against such NRI husbands, and when such erring husband does not present himself before the court even after the service of three summons, then the court may order for the attachment of his property. 

The Ministry also said that if the husband does not have any property in India, then the court may even order for the attachment of his relatives/family members’ property. However, as soon as the husband will attend the court proceedings the attachment of property would cease to effect. 

Such attachment of the property is done in civil cases to either compel the presence of the accused in the court or provide monetary support to the complainant. 

This is not the first time when the government has taken steps to address the grievances of distressed Indian women married to NRI. In 2017, the Ministry of Women and Child Development issued a notice stating that “From now on registration of all marriages will be linked to the Women and Child Development Ministry’s website. However, there are many states that have still not made the registration of marriages a mandatory procedure. 

Earlier in June 2017, a three-member committee comprising officials of Ministry of WCD, Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs decided to launch a web portal to help women abandoned by their NRI husbands abroad. 


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