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House standing panel approves Bill on compulsory registration of NRI marriages

New Delhi: A parliamentary standing committee on Friday approved a bill which calls for compulsory registration of NRI marriages within 30 days.

The standing committee on External Affairs approved the Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill, 2019 with inclusions of recommendations made by its members.

The bill empowers passport authorities to impound or revoke passport or travel documents of NRIs who fail to register within 30 days after getting married.

The committee called for amending the proforma for registration of NRI marriage to make it "exhaustive incorporating all the germane" details related to passport, visa or permanent resident card and address in foreign country with proof.

It strongly recommended that the efforts must be intensified to establish better coordination with the member countries of Hague Convention and to take up the issues of NRI marital disputes during bilateral meetings and consular dialogue with foreign

countries.

The committee also noted that 5,298 complaints have been received related to NRI marital grievances between January 1, 2016 and October 31, 2019.

The bill was brought in by former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj amid reports of Indian women being victims in fraudulent marriages with NRIs.

The bill proposes to provide for compulsory registration of marriage by an NRI within a period of 30 days from the date of marriage. It also seeks to amend the Passport Act, 1967 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

The proposed amendment of the Passport Act, 1967 empowers the passport authority to impound or cause to be impounded or revoke a passport or travel document of an NRI, if it is brought to his notice that the NRI has not registered his marriage within a period of 30 days from the date of marriage.

The proposed amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 would also empower the courts for issuance of summons, warrants through the specifically designated website of the Ministry of External

Affairs.

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