A website is being developed where summons and warrants against non-resident Indian men who have run into trouble with the law over abandoning their wives will be uploaded, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said today. If the accused does not respond, he will be declared a proclaimed offender and his properties would be seized.
For the website to go live, amendments in the Code of Criminal Procedure are needed so that district magistrates can consider the summons and warrants that are uploaded on the website as "served" under Indian law.
The Foreign Ministry, Law Ministry, Home Ministry and the Women and Child Development Ministry have agreed on the plan to launch the website.
"We are trying if the amendments could be introduced in the cabinet and we would try to get it passed in the next parliament session," Sushma Swaraj said at a conference that discussed NRI marriages and how to prevent trafficking of women and children.
Ms Swaraj said her ministry has received hundreds of complaints about NRI men abandoning their wives in foreign lands, and husbands subjecting their wives to mental and physical abuse.
According to the foreign ministry, 3,328 complaints have been received in the last three years (January 2015 to November, 2017) from Indian women who have been deserted by their NRI husbands.
An inter-ministerial committee has set up to monitor summons served to NRI husbands; the women and child development ministry will oversee the committee, whose members include people from the law and foreign ministries.
Sushma Swaraj said, for a start, the passports of eight NRI men accused of abandoning their wives have been cancelled. "The accused whose passports were revoked have surrendered," she added.
A women and child development ministry official said the committee received 70 complaints in the last two months, based on which the National Commission for Women conducted a probe and recommended cancellation of the eight passports.