NRI MARRIAGES – ALARMING REALITY BEHIND THE ALLURING MATRIMONY AND PROVISIONAL LEGAL AID


In ithe ipresent iscenario iof iworldwide iglobalisation, ithis iisn’t i iuncommon ifor ipeople ito isettle ioutside itheir imotherland ifor ibetter ijob iand ieducational iopportunities. iThe isame iis ifor ithe ipeople iin iIndia; iIndian iyouth, igiven ithe iopportunity, iprefer ito isettle iin ithe iforeign icountries. iHowever, imost iof ithe iones iwho ido isettle ioutside, istill ilean itowards iIndian iwoman ifor imarriage ipurposes. iThe ireasons ican ibe iunanimous iand idifferent ifor ivarious ipeople. iSome imay ifeel ithat itheir ilife ipartner ishould ishare ithe isame iroots ias ithey ido iand ihence, iorganise ithe isearch iin itheir iown iculture. iWhile ion ithe iother ihand, isome imay ithink ithat imarrying ian iIndian iwoman iwill igive ithem ithe iopportunity ito iextract idowry iand itheir istatus i(living iabroad) iwill iadd ito ithe idemand iof ithe iamount.


The iterm iNon iResidential iIndian iis ireferred ito ithe ipeople ibelonging i ifrom iIndian iroots i, iwho igot isettled ioutside itheir idomicile ifor ivarious ieducational iand iprofessional ipurposes iand iacquire icitizenships ithere. iAnd ihence, isubjected ito icross-cultural iinfluences.

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These iinfluences ithe idreamy iimaginations iof ithe iNRI imarriages, iblindsiding ithe imajor istruggles iand ichallenges. iIn imost iof ithe icases, ithe ipartner iresiding iin iIndia ibecomes iinfatuated iwith iall ithese iforeign iand ihigh ilife istandards iof ithe ioverseas. iMesmerised iwith iall ithat ifairy-tale ilike ilife, ithey iget itrapped iand isuffer ia ilife iof iphysical iand imental iabuse. iThe inewly ishifted iindividual igets iexposed ito ia ilot iof iother ihardships itoo. ib


ALLURE iOF iNRI iMARRIAGES

Talking iabout ithe idreamy iaspects iof ithis isort iof imarriage, iit ibecomes ia imatter iof ifascination ito ia ilot i. iThe iallure iof iNRI imarriages iprimarily ireside iin ithe isupposed iabundance iof iopportunity ioverseas iand ithe imisconception ithat ithe iones iwho ilive ioverseas iearn imore ithan ithe iones iwho ilive iin iour iown iland. iThis iin-turn igives ia ifairy-tale ieffect ito ithose iwho iare imarrying isuch iindividuals; ithus, ileaving ithem ivulnerable ito ifraud iand iabuse isuch ias ifake imarriages iand idowry.


NRI igrooms iextort ihuge iamount iof imoney ifrom ifamilies iof iIndian ibrides iand ia isocial isystem iwhere idowry iis ialready ia ilegitimate idemand iis ionly itoo icage ito icomply. iLikewise ithe iillegal iimmigration iagents icharge isky ihigh irates ifor ifixing iup isham iNRI imarriages, ioften ito ithe imaterial iadvantage iof ithe ivisa-holder iand iaspiring imigrants iare ioften iwilling ito irisk iland iand iother iassets ito igo iabroad. iHowever, ithese iare ionly iseen ias i‘small iprice ito ipay’ ifor ithe i‘status iand ipride’ isuch ia imarriage ican ibring ito ithe ibride’s ifamily.

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When ithe iallure iof iliving iin ia iforeign icountry, iadded iwith ithe i‘pride’ iof ithe ifamily iand isupposed i‘status’, iNRI imarriages ibecome inothing ishort iof ia ihigh idemand isocial inorm ithat ipeople iwill ipay ianything ito iretrieve.


CHALLENGES iTO iTHESE iMARRIAGES

Of ithe i900 iwomen iwho iresponded ito ia isurvey, iover ihalf iof ithem isay ithey idream iof iexploring itheir italent iand ihaving ia igreat icareer. iIf i26 iper icent iwant ito imake ia idifference ito ithe iworld, ionly ia imeagre i13 iper icent iwant ia iloving irelationship. iThis iis ione iof ithe irevelations iof ia isurvey iconducted iby iSheroes ia isocial inetworking iplatform ifor iwomen iwith iabout i2 imillion imembers iexclusively ifor iET iMagazine. iThe itypical iprofile iof ia iSheroes imember iis ian iurban iwoman ibetween ithe iages iof i20 iand i35.

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What idoes ithis imean iin icontext iof iNRI imarriages? iWell, iit iportrays ihow iwoman iprefer ito igain ifinancial ifreedom iand iequal iopportunity ibefore ientering iinto imarriage, iwhich iin imost iof ithe iNRI imarriages iis inot ipossible ias ithe ifemales ihave ito iheavily idepend ion itheir ipartner ifinancially iand iculturally idue ito itheir ilack iof iexperience iin ioverseas. iOn itop iof iit, imost iof ithese imarriages iare iperformed ito iboost ithe i‘pride’ iof ithe ibride’s ifamily, iignoring ithe isaid ibride’s ifeelings iand icomfort ias ithey icelebrate ithe isupposed i‘success’ iof ithe ibride.

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More ithan ioften, ithe ibride iis iunable ito iadopt iof ithe iforeign iculture iand iface ia ihuge iadjustment iproblem. iWhile ion ithe iother ihand, ithe iNRI igroom iwho ihas ialready iadopted ithe iculture, ibecomes iintolerant ito ithe ibride iand ithus, iadds ito ithe ichallenges iin isuch imarriage.

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The imajor iissues iand ichallenges ifaced iby iwomen itrapped iin ithese ideceptive iNRI imarriages iare ithe iunawareness iabout ithe ipossibility iof ibeing iabandoned iby itheir ihusband iright iafter imarriage, iwhen irefuses ito itake iher ialong iwith ihim. iSometimes iwomen iare ibrutally iabused, iconfined, iill-treated ior iassaulted iboth iphysically iand imentally. iIn icertain icases, ichildren iare iforcibly itaken iaway ifrom itheir imothers, ior ithe ihusband iis ialready imarried ito ianother iwoman. iThe iworst iscenario icases iinclude iwhere ithe ihusband igives ifalse iinformation iabout ihis istatus, iproperty ietc. iin iorder ito icon iwomen iinto ipaying ilarge isums iof idowry. iWomen imostly isuffer iwhen ithe ihusband itakes iadvantage iof ilenient igrounds ifor idivorce iin iother ilegal isystems, iwhere ithe iwomen ihave inowhere ito igo. iOver ithe iyears, ithe iinstances iof iIndian iwomen ibeing itrapped iin ifraudulent imarriages iwith ioverseas iIndians iare ibeing iincreasingly ireported. iThis ihas iindeed iunderscored ithe ipressing ineed ito ibuild isafeguards iin iorder ito iprotect ithese isuffering iwomen ifrom isuch isituations, iand imake ithem iaware iof itheir irights iand iresponsibilities iregarding ithe ivarious idefences iat itheir idisposal iagainst ithis ikind iof itreatment, ias iwell ias ithe isafety inets ithat iare iavailable ifor iassisting ithem. iBut ias ithese iproblems isurface, iit iis idespairingly inoticed ihow ilittle idefences ifemales ihave iin icomparison ito ithe iproblems. i i

  • Multiple imarriages iby iNRI iyouths: iThey iare ileaving itheir iwives iin ilurch, iin imany icases iwith ichildren. iNow, iit iis icalled ias i‘Run iaway imarriages’, i‘Short iLiaison’, i‘Holiday-Wife-Syndrome’

  • Leaving iNRI iin iIndia: iAfter ia ishort, ihoneymoon, ithe ihusband ihad igone iback, ipromising ito isoon isend iher iticket ithat inever icame.

  • NRI iwife iand ichildren iare isubjected ito icruelty iin iabroad i

  • Huge iDowry i

  • Trial iof icriminal icase iheld iup: iWoman iwho isought ito iuse icriminal ilaw ito ipunish iher ihusband iand iin-laws ifor idowry idemands iand/or imatrimonial icruelty iand ifound ithat ithe itrial icould inot iproceed ias ithe ihusband iwould inot icome ito iIndia iand isubmit ito ithe itrial ior irespond iin iany iway ito isummons, ior ieven iwarrant iof iarrest. i

  • Indian iCourts ihave ilimited ijurisdiction: iWoman iwho iwas icoaxed ito itravel ito ithe iforeign icountry iof ithe iman’s iresidence iand iget imarried iin ithat icountry, iwho ilater idiscovered ithat iIndian icourts ihave ieven imore ilimited ijurisdiction iin isuch icases. i

  • VISA iproblems: iIn iUSA, iNRI ispouses ion iH4 ior iF2 ivisa iare iprohibited ifrom iany iemployment. iAccording ito iImmigration iLaws iin iUSA, iH4 idependant-visa iholders iare inot ieligible ifor ia isocial isecurity inumber. iWithout ithis inumber, ithe iindividual ifaces igreat idifficulties iin iopening ia ibank iaccount ior ito isecure ia idriver’s ilicense iand icannot ibe igainfully iemployed ieither. i i

Citizenship: Commisioniof iIndia iin iits i65th iReport ihas iproposed ithat ithe idomicile iof iwoman ishould ibe idetermined iindependently iof ithat iof ihusband, iin iconformity iwith ithe ispirit iof ithe iIndian iConstitution. iOur iConstitution idoes inot ipermit idual icitizenship ior idual inationality iexcept ifor iminors iwhere ithe isecond inationality iwas iinvoluntarily iacquired. iUnder iSection i5 i(1) i(c) iof iCitizenship iAct, i1955, ia iwoman imarried ito ia icitizen iof iIndia idoes inot iautomatically ibecome ian iIndian icitizen, ithough ishe imay imake ian iapplication iand ibe iregistered ias ia iCitizen iof iIndia.


DIVORCE iOF iNRI iCOUPLE i

Earlier, ithe icases iof iNRI imarriages iused ito ibe ivery iless. iBut iafter ithe ion igrowing itrend, iIndian imen iand iwomen iboth idesire ito imarry iforeign ibased iIndian. iThey iwish ito isettle iin ia iforeign icountry ito ihave ibetter iquality iof ilife. iEven imost iof ithe iIndian iparents iwant ito imarry ioff itheir idaughter ito iforeign ibased iIndian. i i

However, imany iof isuch imarriages iend iin idivorce. iThough, ito iseek idivorce ipeople imust iknow iabout ithe ilegal iprovisions iregarding iNRI imarriages iin iIndia. i i

Under iHindu iMarriage iAct, i1955, isection i13 i(b), iif iboth ithe ispouses iare iresiding iin iany iforeign icountry, ithey ican iseek idivorce iby imutual iconsent iunder ithe icountry’s idivorce ilaws irelated ito iforeign imarriages. iThe iIndian ilegal isystem iwill irecognize ithe idivorce ionly iif iit iis iwith ithe iconsent iof iboth ithe iparties. i


VARIOUS iDEFENCES iFOR iABONDENED iBRIDES iIN iNRI iMARRIAGES

These imarriages iare iused igenerally ifor imonetary ibenefit ior iany iother ibenefit isuch ias igetting icitizenship imuch ieasily ietc. iBut iat ithe iend, iit ican ibe iseen ias ian ielaborate isham ior ia iwell iplanned ifraud.

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While ifraud iis ian iacceptable idefence iin ithese icases, ithe iproblem iis ito iget ithe i‘husband’ iback ito iIndia ifor ithe icase. iThere iare itwo icategories iof isuch ifraudulent imarriages; ione iis iwhere ithe iNRI igroom itries ito iget imonetary ibenefits ifrom idowry ior iother isuch iwedding igifts igiven iby ibride ifamily iand ithen iflees ito ia iforeign icountry iand ithe iother iis iwhere ione ipartner imarries ito iget ifaster ivisa ito ia iforeign icountry.

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In imany icases, ithe iprincipal ichallenge ifor iNRI iwives, ihowever, iremains ithe ijurisdiction i iwhere ithe ispouses ireside iin idifferent icountries, iany ijudicial idecisions ipassed iby ia iforeign icourt, imore ior iless ibecomes iunenforceable. i

Currently, ithere iis ino iprovision irecognizing iforeign imatrimonial ijudgments ior imatters ion iany iother ifamily ilaw ilegislations ithe irecourse iis ito iSection i13 iof ithe iCode iof iCivil iProcedure, i1908 i(CPC). iOur iwhole ilegal iwork ifor iproviding irelief ito iabandoned ibrides iis icompletely idependent ion ithis iprovision. iAn iexception ito ithis iis ihowever i‘Reciprocating iTerritories’, ias idefined iin iSection i44A iof ithe iCPC.


CONCLUSION iAND iSUGGESTIONS

In irecent iyears, imedia icoverage iof iIndian iwomen, imarried iand ideserted iby iNRI ihusbands ias iwell ias ithat iof ifake imarriages ibased ion ithe ilure iof ispousal ivisa ihas iprompted ithe iIndian igovernment iand ilegal isystem ito itake iseveral icorrective iand ipreventive imeasures.

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Among ithe imeasures itaken iby igovernment iagencies ilike iThe iMinistry iof iOverseas iIndian iAffairs iand ithe iNational iCommission iof iWomen iare icreating iawareness iin ithe ipopulation iespecially iin irural iand isemi-urban iareas iof ithe irisks iof ian ioverseas imarriage iwithout iproper ichecking ion ithe iNRI ipartner's ibackground. iThe iIndian ilegal isystem iis iin ifavour iof icompulsory iregistration iof imarriages iwhich iwill igo isome iway iin itracking iand iproviding irelief iin icases iof ifraudulent iNRI imarriages. i i

There ihave ia