Will the same action be taken against women too when they abduct the child and leave the country? More so because India is not a signatory of Hague Convention!
An estimated 40,000 Women from Punjab & Haryana, married to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), have been cheated by their husbands. They were deserted within one month of marriage.
With most women having no recourse to ‘Legal Action’ against their truant husbands, the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Chandigarh from May this year started suspending the passports of these NRIs to force them to return to India, reported Latest Laws.
The suspension of a passport means automatic cancellation of all ‘Valid Visas’ contained in the booklet.
For the past 4 years, 30-year-old Savidha Kumari has been trying hard to bring her Australia-based husband back to India and get her Legal Rights.
Savidha who is a Resident of Jind in Haryana, got married in December 2013 and her husband deserted her two months after the wedding. Her efforts got a boost this week when the RPO suspended her husband’s passport.
Another 2,000 similar complaints are lying with the RPO and are expected to be processed soon out of which 70% of the Cases are from Punjab. The Chandigarh RPO that is flooded with complaints started suspending the passports of the NRIs against whom FIRs have been registered and Courts have issued Warrants or Summons.
The passports were suspended after the show-cause notices issued by the RPO to the truant NRIs did not prompt any response.
The action has been taken as per Section 10 (3) of the Passports Act, 1967, which empowers passport authority to impound/suspend a passport, if it is brought to its notice that an arrest warrant or a summons for appearance of the holder of the passport has been issued by a court.
Regional Passport Officer, Chandigarh, Sibash Kabiraj said a decision was taken to suspend the passports of men who deserted their legally-wedded partners after living with them.
Kabiraj said,“These men are now technically without a legal passport and we have informed the authorities in the countries where they are residing.”
The NRI Commission of Punjab recommended suspension of passports in as many as 25 Cases in the last 2 months.
Justice Rakesh Kumar Garg (retd) has termed the suspension of passports as a right step. The Chairman of the Commission, said this will act as a deterrent and will send a strong message to criminals.
Justice Garg,“NRI men will think twice before deserting their wives.”
Savidha said,“The step taken by the passport office to suspend passport of my husband has rejuvenated my hopes. I am confident that I will get to see him soon and get my rights.”
The Passport Office is being assisted by a group of five women, who were deserted by their NRI husbands, in collecting documents required for suspension of the passports of the truant NRIs.
Reena Chauhan who is a resident of Kaithal, said, “We are also contacting companies where the men whose passports have been suspended, work and inform the employers that they are without legal documents.”