New Delhi: A Parliamentary Panel on Wednesday expressed serious concern over rising cases of fraudulent marriages involving NRIs and asked the government to set up an effective mechanism to provide assistance to affected women.
In a report tabled in Lok Sabha, the Standing Committee on External Affairs recommended to the government to work seriously on its earlier suggestion of having bilateral agreements with foreign countries to protect interests of women who are victims of such marriages.
"The committee was surprised to note that the feasibility report for bilateral agreement was still pending and no satisfactory progress had been made so far," the committee said.
It criticised Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry for failing to put in place a mechanism to help the victims of fraudulent marriages and said a rehabilitation scheme should be launched to help the affected women.
It also strongly recommended that the passport authorities should be asked to play a pro-active role in such cases and they should use their "discretion" under provisions of the law to impound and revoke passports of people if it was found that they do not respond to summons and cooperate with courts.
"The committee is of the opinion that the Ministry has not taken the spirit of the recommendation and seriousness of the issue and has submitted an evasive reply without any action or effort on their part in the direction of setting up of a complaint and counselling desk for help of such women victims at all those Indian Missions (in countries) where there is a higher incidence of such cases," the report said.
The committee asked the government to set up an effective mechanism to provide assistance to affected women.
It recommended that the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, MEA and National Commission of Women in coordination with other agencies should develop an "effective" mechanism to provide assistance through a "single window" to affected women.