AISV President’s Message

It appears that there is a lot of backlash against Mr. Tony Abbott and Mr Greg Hunt. Two very high profile women independent candidates have opted to stand against them and I sincerely hope these two women are elected to the Parliament. Mr Abbott, Mr. Hunt and Mr Dutton have brought the Liberal party to disrepute and need to be booted out. As far as Mr Peter Dutton is concerned, he is unlikely to win his marginal seat. This will put Mr Shorten and Labor in the box seat to win the next election. This will be most unfortunate as the Liberal government has good track record on the economy and the Budget, which is in surplus, Job growth and border protection.

Australia has achieved the target set at the Paris Agreement whose central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It is a great achievement by Australia and the government needs to be congratulated on achieving the target five years before time.

Another issue that we were struggling with was NRI Indian men going to India and getting married to girls there and then harassing them either at home in India or subjecting them to domestic violence in their adopted country for one reason or the other.This was happening all over the world.

Fortunately the government of India has introduced a path breaking Billon Registration of Marriage of non-Resident of India in Rajya Sabha. This Bill is an outcome of a joint initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Law and Justice.

The objective of the Bill is to create more accountability and offer more protection against exploitation of Indian women by their NRI spouses. It envisages (i) Reg- istration of Marriages by Non-Resident Indians; (ii) Amendment of the Passports Act 1967 and (iii) Amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973. According to the provisions of the Bill, the compulsory registration of marriage within thirty days of marriage in India or abroad would provide better enforcement of rights of the deserted spouse under various family laws.

Similarly, the Amendment to the Passport Act would empower the Passport Authority to impound or revoke the passport of NRI, if it is brought to his notice that the NRI has not registered his mar- riage within 30 days from the date of marriage. The Amendments to (Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 - India Code) would empower the Courts for issuance of summons, warrants through the specially designated website of the Min- istry of External Affairs. It also provides provisions for attachment of properties belonging to the NRI, if he does not appear before the Court and is declared as Proclaimed Offender by the Court. The introduction of the Bill was necessitated by the Ministry of External Affairs due to numerous complaints received from Indian nationals mostly women deserted or harassed by their Non-resident Indian Spouses. The Bill proposes to offer greater protection to Indian women married to NRIs and serve as a deterrent to NRIs against harassment of their spouses. This would provide much needed relief to all Indian women married to NRIs worldwide.

If this bill is passed, we may see less cases of fraudulent behaviour, dowry seeking, domestic violence in the adopted countries of these men.

Dr. Gurdip Aurora
President AISV
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