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QUESTION No.3139 COMPLAINTS FROM NRI WOMEN

March 14, 2018

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION No.3139
BE ANSWERED ON 14.03.2018


COMPLAINTS FROM NRI WOMEN

3139. SHRI SISIR KUMAR ADHIKARI:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether the Government receives regularly on an average dowry complaints one every eight hours from abroad since the last three years;

(b) if so, the details thereof, year-wise since 2014;

(c) the details of the action taken by the Government and the response of the foreign countries on the desertion cases; and

(d) the details of instructions and regulations issued to Overseas Missions of India to act immediately on receipt of the complaint ?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN.(DR) V.K.SINGH (RETD)]


(a) & b) The Ministry has been receiving petitions including dowry-related complaints, harassment & ill treatment by the husband and his family etc. from distressed Indian women married to NRI spouses. They also request the Ministry & the Missions/Posts for assistance in serving judicial summons for Court proceedings in India; assistance in obtaining maintenance and child support from the spouse; request for repatriation of the spouse to India etc. Year-wise details of such complaints received and addressed by the Ministry since 2014 are given below:

Year

Number of complaints received

Number of complaints addressed

2014 (only in Missions & Posts)

276

276

2015

796

796

2016

1510

1510

2017

1186

1186

Total

3768

3768


(c) This Ministry including the Indian Missions/Posts have assisted distressed Indian women deserted by their NRI spouses by way of providing them counseling, guidance and information about procedures, mechanisms for serving judicial summons on the Overseas Indian husband; filing a case in India, issuing Look Out Circulars; impounding and revocation of Indian passport of the husband; getting access to lawyers and NGOs empanelled with Indian Missions etc. and legal and financial assistance under ICWF Scheme.

The issue of dowry is generally not a cognizable offence in foreign countries. However, as the issue of dowry leads to domestic & other acts of violence, either of the estrange spouses or both look for legal remedies. The Ministry has sensitized the countries with larger number of diaspora about the plight of distressed Indian women deserted by their NRI spouses. Although they appreciate our view point, they are unable to interfere in judicial processes of their countries.

(d) With an aim to provide financial and legal assistance by all Missions and Posts to distressed women married to NRI spouses, the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) Guidelines were revised in September, 2017. The amount of legal & financial assistance to distressed Indian women has also been increased to US$ 4000 per case. The assistance is released to the empanelled legal counsel of the applicant or Indian Community Association / Women’s Organisation/NGO concerned to enable it to take steps to assist the woman in documentation and preparatory work for filing the case. The Missions/Posts have also been empowered to provide emergency lodging and boarding to distressed Indian women.

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