NCW: bilateral tie-ups can curb divorces

In most cases, foreign courts grant divorces on grounds that are not present in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

Hyderabad: The National Commission for Women (NCW) in a consultation meeting in November 2016 with the State Commission for Women has resolved to sign bilateral treaties with foreign countries to regulate the grant of divorce on grounds that are not available in the parent Act.

In most cases, foreign courts grant divorces on grounds that are not present in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The Law Commission of India, expressing concerns over the growing issues of desertion and destitution of Indian wives wedded to NRI husbands, in its 219th Report (released in March 2009) recommended the need to have Family law Legislations for Non Resident Indians.

The Lok Sabha Secretariat issued a reference note in 2014 with regard to Overseas Indian Marriages in which it was pointed out that “the NRI husband takes advantage of the more lenient divorce grounds in other legal systems and obtains ex-parte decree of divorce in the foreign country through fraudulent representations and/or without her knowledge, after she is sent back or forced to go back to India or even while she is still there”.

It was also pointed out that “A woman who approaches the court either in India or in foreign country for maintenance or divorce, repeatedly encounters technical legal obstacles related to jurisdiction of courts, service of notices or orders, or enforcement of orders or learns of the husband commencing simultaneous legal proceedings in the foreign country".

The Hague Service Convention is a multilateral treaty that was formulated in 1964 by the 10th Session of the Hague Conference of Private International Law.

Ms Vasudha Nagaraj, advocate, said the convention was revised to provide a simpler way for the service of process abroad, to assure that defendants sued in foreign jurisdictions would receive actual and timely notice of the suit and to facilitate proof of service abroad.

She said India became a party to the Hague Convention on November 23, 2007. Ms Nagaraj said Indian husbands living in foreign countries often get away with such invalid service of summons by representing to the foreign courts that service is affected and obtain their divorces.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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