WOMEN married to non-resident Indians from Punjab have long faced problems in getting justice when their husbands abroad cheat them. Illegal immigration has been another problem for Indian and overseas authorities. The NRI Sammelan being organised by the Punjab government in Chandigarh and Jalandhar on January 5 and 6, respectively, may be able to offer some solutions.
This year, the function, normally touted as an investment forum for NRIs from Punjab, will focus on social issues such as ‘holiday marriages’ (in which Punjabi NRIs marry during their holidays in Indian and subsequently abandon their wives) and illegal immigration.
There will be discussions on NRI family law related problems, including the proper method of registering marriages in India, applicability of a decree of a foreign court pertaining to divorce or matrimonial relief in India and the position of Indian law on parallel proceedings regarding divorce or matrimonial relief in India and a foreign court. NRIs’ property-related problems such as seeking eviction of tenants from rented property in Punjab, initiating legal proceedings for claiming possession or ownership of agricultural or commercial property from a foreign country, the course of succession in the absence of a will of an NRI will also be part of the discussion.
The need to amend provisions of the Emigration Act, 1983 to curb illegal migration the Punjab government's initiative in framing legislation to prevent human trafficking and a consolidated work permit regime will also be discussed. For repatriation of funds, the forum will also have detailed analysis on foreign investments by NRIs under the automatic route, the difficulties in seeking government approval and the time required for the procedure.
Fast-track resolution of criminal cases against NRIs has been an important requirement of Punjab. Of the 14,000 public offenders in the state around 1,000 are NRIs. According to the law, look-out circulars are maintained by immigration authorities at all international airports for NRIs who are declared public offenders. The Punjab police may review their lists and approach criminal courts jurisdiction to seek appropriate judicial remedies for public offenders