Make Aadhaar Mandatory for NRI Marriages: Expert Panel to MEA
According to an NCW report, about 1,300 such cases were registered by its NRI cell between 2005 and 2012.
According to an NCW report, about 1,300 such cases were registered by its NRI cell between 2005 and 2012. (Photo: Altered by The Quint) 

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.

It has been proposed that Aadhaar should be a must-have for registration of NRI marriages (in India).
A source privy to the contents of the report

Also Read: Aadhar Card Not Mandatory for Availing Benefits: SC

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.

The panel also recommended that India amend its extradition treaties with various countries to include domestic violence as a criterion for seeking the custody of an accused.

An official in the ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) said that tracking an offender in NRI marriage was often difficult.

The main issue is that serving of notice is difficult because you don’t have the address.
Official in the ministry of WCD

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.

The panel mooted that special teams consisting of officials of the MEA, Home Affairs and WCD be deputed in “10- 15 countries” from where such cases emanate.

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.

Also Read: Are You An NRI? You Can Now Cast Votes Via Proxy

It has been noticed that sometimes, the particulars of employment, immigration status, surname, property, earning status, marital status and other material particulars are wrongly supplied purposely by the prospective groom to con a girl into marriage for ulterior motives.
NCW report

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.

Also Read: Aadhar Scheme Collects Biometric Data of 99 Crore Indians

(This article was originally published in an arrangement with PTI.)

(#TalkingStalking: Have you ever been stalked? Share your experience with The Quint and inspire others to shatter the silence surrounding stalking. Send your stories to editor@thequint.com or WhatsApp @ +919999008335.)

(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.)