India Suspends Passports of 60 NRIs Accused of Deserting WivesNRI Top Stories

October 05, 2018 15:58
India Suspends Passports of 60 NRIs Accused of Deserting Wives

(Image source from: Little India)

About 60 Non-Resident Indian (NRI) passports have been suspended by Indian passport authorities accused of deserting their wives in India soon after marriage.

In May this year, the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Chandigarh, started the procedure of suspending the passport pursuing complaints filed by the abandoned wives.

According to a report by SBS Australia, most NRIs whose Indian passports have been suspended are based in Canada and Australia. The reported cited information received from Chandigarh's Regional Passport Officer, Sibash Kabiraj.

While the Indian government is not insisting on the deportation of these NRIs, it’s informing the Australian authorities about the status of the affected NRIs’ passports, Kabiraj told SBS.

Once a passport is suspended, all the valid visas in the passport are revoked, making the passport holder an illegal immigrant in their country of residence. And if the person is in India, he is barred from traveling abroad.

"This effectively means that those passports are not valid now and that makes all the visas linked to those passports invalid too," Kabiraj said. 'It's up to the Australian authorities to act now that they know these people are illegally in their country."

There are more than 40,000 women from Punjab and Haryana, who have been abandoned within months after marriage to an NRI groom without a legal divorce, the Times of India reported.

Related content: NCW Appeals MEA to Foil Ex Parte NRI Divorces

The Chandigarh RPO, earlier this year started a helpline with an intent to assist the abandoned wives to seek help. More than 50 women call the helpline every day, and are assisted by volunteers in filing complaints against their husbands, the report added.

"We receive calls every day and we act on those where there's evidence - such as a court order or non-compliance with the summons of a court," Kabiraj told SBS.

The RPO has received 2,000 complaints and will start processing them soon. About 70 percent of such cases are from Punjab, according to the Times of India.

The Indian government has strengthened its endeavor against absentee NRIs in the recent months, with progressive backing from the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare.

Punjab's NRI Commission has recommended suspension of as many as 25 passports in the last two months, the Times of India added.

The Chandigarh RPO after flooding with complaints started suspending passports. It is taking action against NRIs whom FIRs have been registered and courts have issued summons or warrants.

The passports were suspended after the show-cause notices to truant NRIs did not raise any reply.

-Sowmya Sangam

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