To have the clear understanding of the matter, first, you need to know what is meant by an NRI and what is considered as an NRI marriage. When a person temporarily emigrates to another country with a valid Indian passport for an uncertain period of time, he would be referred as an NRI. The acronym NRI stands for non-resident Indian.
‘NRI marriage’ means a marriage that happened between an Indian woman and an Indian man who is either an NRI that is an Indian citizen living in that country with Indian passport or a citizen of that country legally termed as Person of Indian Origin (PIO).When any dispute occurs in relation to this kind of marriage between the two, it will be referred as NRI matrimonial disputes.
Different kinds of NRI matrimonial disputes
Two types of NRI matrimonial disputes are often noticed regarding NRI marriage.
In the first case, it occurs when an NRI bridegroom gets married to an Indian bride with the claim of a certain amount of money as dowry and after getting that leaves the country compelling his wife to stay behind in India.
In the second case, both the Indian husband and wife are married abroad. But in their conjugal life different issues of disputes arise like an extramarital affair, physical harassment, abusive ill-treatment etc.
After that, either of the husband or wife gets back to India and suits in an Indian Court. It is often noticed that in both the countries, one in India and other in a foreign country, different matrimonial petitions are filed.
Laws that are applied in non-resident Indian marriage
Many laws are there for governing NRI marriages. The Special Marriage Act 1954, the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, the Foreign Marriage Act 1969, along with other personal laws are there in Indian legal system to deal with the NRI matrimonial disputes.
But ultimately it is the law, under which the marriage took place, is actually empowered to govern the marriage dispute. the same law is also applicable for the associated disputes like inheritance, succession, adoption et cetera.
What will you do if you are harassed by your NRI spouse or in-laws?
If you are harassed by your NRI husband or wife or in-laws in a foreign country, the provisions of section 3 and 4 of the Indian Penal Code may come to your rescue. The court can try for an offense by a person beyond Indian territory being empowered by the criminal jurisdictions given by section 3. This section is also applied to those people who are covered by any other special laws such as Hindu Marriage Act 1954 or special Marriage Act.
First what you need is not to bow down before any demand for dowry or any other kinds of demand by your NRI/ PIO husband.
You are always advised to approach your nearest Indian consulate or Embassy for getting assistance to file an official complaint in your nearest police station, regarding the ill-treatment you are receiving.
With the assistance of the Embassy or consulate, you can contact your family and friends and even may have the contact details of local NGOs who can provide great support to you in such situation.