Make Aadhaar Mandatory for NRI Marriages: Expert Panel to MEA
Aadhaar should be made mandatory for the registration of NRI marriages in India to tackle desertion and other marital issues, an inter-ministerial committee has recommended to the Ministry of External Affairs.
The proposal by the special committee on Indian passport holders getting married in India is aimed at protecting the rights of women, who are deserted by their NRI husbands or become victims of domestic violence and dowry harassment abroad.
Aadhaar Enrolment To Go Overseas
The Unique Identification Authority of India is working on a policy for the Aadhaar enrolment of NRIs, Overseas Citizens of India and Persons of Indian Origin. At present, all residents, including Indian nationals and foreigners with valid visas, can enrol for an Aadhaar number.
An official in the ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) said that tracking an offender in NRI marriage was often difficult.
A source said that the report is only limited to NRIs, and not anybody else of Indian origin living abroad. He stated that they are only dealing with those who hold an Indian passport.
Special Teams to Be Deputed in 10-15 Countries
The committee also suggested that the National Commission for Women (NCW) be made the nodal authority for looking into disputes arising out of such marriages.
According to an NCW report, about 1,300 such cases were registered by its NRI cell between 2005 and 2012.
Apart from the UK, US, Canada and Australia, teams should also be posted to African and West Asian nations, it said.
The expert panel on NRI marriages was constituted in 2016, under the chairmanship of retired Justice Arvind Goel, former chairman of the NRI Commission of Punjab, and comprises officials of the ministries of WCD, Home Affairs, MEA and the department of Telecommunications.
The NCW report commissioned in 2011, titled Laws Relating to NRI Marriages and their Impact on Women, lists the problems faced by women in such marriages.
While hearing a batch of petitions challenging the Centre's move to make Aadhaar mandatory, the Supreme Court last month unanimously declared that the right to privacy was a fundamental one.
The judgement was limited to the issue of right to privacy and the question whether Aadhaar violates the right to privacy will be dealt with by a three-judge bench from November.
(This article was originally published in an arrangement with PTI.)
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