By LE Desk
New Delhi, March 23: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the government to respond to a plea for framing guidelines to provide speedy justice to women abandoned by their NRI husbands.
A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde issued notice to the government and scheduled a hearing in July.
The petition filed by NGO, Pravasi Legal Cell, represented by advocate Jose Abraham, highlighted three instances of suffering for women in NRI marriages, The Hindu reported.
These include women left behind in India by their husbands within days of the marriage. The woman hears no more from the man, and in some cases, she is pregnant by him. This would mean both the wife and child are abandoned with no recourse to trace the man or effectively begin legal proceedings against him.
The second instance when the woman is taken abroad but only to be subject to harassment and abuse by her husband. In some cases, the petition said the man does not even come to pick her up at the airport on her arrival, leaving her stranded in an alien land. Finally, in some cases ex-parte divorce decrees have been passed by foreign courts.
The petition said such women experience technical and legal obstacles concerning jurisdiction of courts, serving of notices or orders, enforcement of orders or even find themselves tangled in “simultaneous retaliatory legal proceedings” in a foreign country.
“A women abandoned by her NRI husband in India has to face obstacles at every point, starting with the lodging of an FIR. Police are reluctant to take the crime seriously,” the petition said.
The petition said the process of issuance of look-out circulars against errant NRI husbands takes months to clear the bureaucratic maze. The papers have to go through various offices like the Bureau of Immigration and the Foreign Regional Registration Office.
At times, it is even difficult to trace the country to which the husband has gone.
“India has the world’s largest diaspora, according to figures from the United Nations. It is imperative to frame guidelines to provide professional and speedy justice to women abandoned by their NRI husbands,” the petition said.