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LCI Report on Matrimonial Legislation for NRI and OCI

Why is it in the news?

  • Law Commission of India (LCI) submitted a report on “Law on Matrimonial Issues Relating to Non-Resident Indians (NRI) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI)”.

Key highlights of the report

  • Lack of regulation: Absence of legislation governing marriages with NRIs and no central law mandating marriage registration.
  • Rising trend of fraudulent matrimony: NRIs marrying Indians leaving spouses vulnerable to domestic violence, abandonment, and ex-parte divorce initiated without the knowledge/consent of the Indian spouse.
  • Difficulty in legal assistance: Cross-border nature of marriages complicates seeking legal recourse for Indian spouses.

Proposed Recommendations

  • Enact comprehensive law: Expand NRI Bill, 2019 to cover divorce, maintenance, and child support, applicable to OCIs and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) besides NRIs.
  • Compulsory registration in India: Marriage registration to include detailed information for proper identification and tracking system; failure to register may incur fines or imprisonment.
  • Law to have overriding effect on all other laws.
About OCIs, PIOs, and NRIs

·       NRIs: Indian citizens residing abroad.

·       OCIs and PIOs: Foreign citizens with recognized Indian origin, with certain privileges extended to them.

·       PIO and OCI Card Scheme merged in 2015; new PIO card issuance discontinued.

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