Govt must sign Hague Convention to help women deserted by NRIs

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New Delhi, Oct 20 (UNI) Moved by the plight of women deserted by NRI husbands, a Parliamentary Panel has asked the government to sign the Convention on Marriage/ Divorce under the Hague convention to do justice to these hapless women and also demanded increase in finanacial assistance to them for legal and counselling services.

The Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women in its 17th report on the 'Plight of Indian Women Deserted by NRI husbands' submitted in Parliament today has reiterated this when the government informed it that the conventions are still under careful scrutiny and consideration of the Ministry of External Affairs.

''Considering the importance of the Conventions on Marriage and Divorce in ensuring justice to women deserted by NRI husbands, the Committee once again desire that the government should take sincere efforts in being a party to the Convention on Marriage/ Divorce under Hague convention,'' the 30 member panel headed by Ms Krishna Tirath said.

It lamented that no enhancement has been done in the financial assistance of 1000 dollars to Indian women deserted or divorced by their overseas Indian spouses to obtain legal and counselling services through the Indian Missions abroad. The panel wanted the government to raise the amount in view of the legal costs involved in such cases in other countries. However, it was happy that Rs 31.70 crore has been recently approved for the scheme under the five-year period from 2007-08 to 2011-12.

Expressing concern over the absence of a coordinated mechanism among the various agencies dealing with the issue of problematic NRI marriages, the Committe wanted the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, being the nodal agency, to take urgent steps to evolve a well defined coordinated mechanism among all agencies.

The government said that the suggestion would be discussed at an Inter Ministerial Committee likely to be convened soon with a view to evolve a possible coordinating mechanism.

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