A year on, commission taps HC for NRI court
By Priya Yadav, TNN | Dec 1, 2012, 02.30 AM IST
CHANDIGARH: Matrimonial disputes involving non-resident Indians (NRIs) in Punjab have now found a new address. The NRI Commission has decided to take up matrimonial cases, where either the groom or the bride is settled abroad, and mediate into a dispute without letting it spill into an unwarranted dowry case in a civil court.
The commission, which completed a year of working on Friday, has also proposed to the Punjab and Haryana high court to set up another NRI court in Jalandhar. "The response to the NRI court we set up in Jalandhar was immense and we are hopeful that another will be approved shortly," said Arvind Kumar, former HC judge who is now the Punjab NRI Commission head.
The commission already has a trickle of cases involving matrimonial disputes coming to it. "As of now, Section 498A, pertaining to dowry, is being blatantly misused by people to settle scores with NRIs in case of disputes relating to matrimony. The commission is intervening to settle the case amicably and within its own ambit so that the dowry Act is not misused," said Jay Malhotra, an advocate dealing with NRI cases.
A quasi-judicial authority, which enjoys the powers of a civil court, the NRI Commission is the first of its kind and has states of Gujarat and Kerala, which have high NRI population of their own, interested in setting up similar commissions. "We had delegations from Gujarat and Kerala. They have studied our model," claimed M L Sharma, secretary of the commission.
The commission has suggested that the Punjab government streamline the system to deal with problems of NRIs. "We have sought reformation of the Prevention of Human Smuggling Act 2010, besides stressing on the need for state government to enact compulsory marriage registration act on the pattern of Haryana," said Justice Kumar.
Barely six months after it was set up, the commission had letters from governments abroad, appreciating its positive impact. "The House of Commons in UK sent us a letter of thanks for resolving a case. The government of Nigeria has also appreciated our efforts," he added.
"Earlier, people did not know which government agency to approach for NRI related problems. From fraud by travel agents to employees in other countries not getting salaries, to NRI marriages falling apart, people can approach us," said Sharma.
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1. When the female is all out to make money, what do this commision do to "mediate" ???
2. The commission has powers of a civil court ... but...but... I thought that most of the cases were criminal ...because these husbands were all criminals ??? !!