US Dept of State to issue a travel advisory for those willing to travel to India regarding the imminent danger of kids being abducted usually by a warring spouse against US Court orders and the Travel Advisory related to the Misuse of Dowry Laws in India.
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Since India is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the country remains a safe haven for child abductors. Over the last few years, there have been more child abductions from the United States to India than to any other non-Hauge country.
We would request the US Dept of State to issue a travel advisory for those willing to travel to India regarding the imminent danger of kids being abducted usually by a warring spouse against US Court orders.
As per State website http://travel.state.gov/content/childabduction/english/legal/compliance/statistics.html (Attached picture with table)
Also, the State Dept used to have the below travel advisory regarding the misuse of Indian Dowry Laws in 2004-2005. As of May 2004,
DOWRY/VISA DEMANDS. “A number of U.S. citizen men who have come to India to marry Indian nationals have been arrested and charged with crimes related to dowry extraction. Many of the charges stem from the U.S. citizen's inability to provide an immigrant visa for his prospective spouse to travel immediately to the United States. The courts sometimes order the U.S. citizen to pay large sums of money to his spouse in exchange for the dismissal of charges. The courts normally confiscate the American's passport, and he must remain in India until the case has been settled. There are also cases of U.S. citizen women whose families force them against their will into marriages to Indian nationals.”
Over the last decade the rampant misuse of IPC 498A and DP Act of India has increased to such levels that The Hon. Supreme Court of India in a recent Judgment (Arnesh Kumar vs State Of Bihar & Anr [CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1277 OF 2014]) has raised grave concerns about the misuse of these penal sections. As per the Judgment :-
“There is phenomenal increase in matrimonial disputes in recent years. The institution of marriage is greatly revered in this country. Section 498-A of the IPC was introduced with avowed object to combat the menace of harassment to a woman at the hands of her husband and his relatives. The fact that Section 498-A is a cognizable and non-bailable offence has lent it a dubious place of pride amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shield by disgruntled wives.”
Similar observations have repeatedly been echoed by the Hon. Supreme Court of India, regarding the rampant misuse of IPC 498A and has compared it as ‘legal terrorism’.
Sushil Kumar Sharma vs Union Of India And Ors, Writ Petition (civil) 141 of 2005
“The object of the provision is prevention of the dowry meance. But as has been rightly contended by the petitioner many instances have come to light where the complaints are not bonafide and have filed with obligue motive. In such cases acquittal of the accused does not in all cases wipe out the ignomy suffered during and prior to trial. Sometimes adverse media coverage adds to the misery. The question, therefore, is what remedial measures can be taken to prevent abuse of the well-intentioned provision. Merely because the provision is constitutional and intra vires, does not give a license to unscrupulous persons to wreck personal vendetta or unleash harassment. It may, therefore, become necessary for the legislature to find out ways how the makers of frivolous complaints or allegations can be appropriately dealt with. Till then the Courts have to take care of the situation within the existing frame work. As noted the object is to strike at the roots of dowry menace. But by misuse of the provision a new legal terrorism can be unleashed. The provision is intended to be used a shield and not assassins' weapon.”
The misuse is very evident as per the records provided by India’s NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) which can be summed up in the picture (Attached - above chart/graph)
We would like to request the Dept of State to re-initiate the Travel Advisory related to the Misuse of Dowry Laws in India to warn not only the US residents of Indian origin but also US Nationals who get implicated in India.
Similar Travel Advisory is presently issued by other countries as well.
CANADA: http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/india > Laws & Culture
“A number of Canadians have been involved in marital fraud and dowry abuse in India. Some cases involve misuse of India’s Dowry Prohibition Act. This law, which was enacted to protect women by making dowry demands a crime, is sometimes used to blackmail men through false allegations of dowry extortion. Individuals facing charges may be forced to remain in India until their cases have been settled or to compensate their spouses in exchange for the dismissal of charges. To avoid such problems, register your marriage in India along with a joint declaration of gifts exchanged, and consider a prenuptial agreement as well.”
AUSTRALIA: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/India > Laws
“Matters concerning dowry have resulted in some Australian citizens being subject to arrest upon arrival in India. The act of giving or receiving a dowry is prohibited. Claims for dowry can result in an arrest alert notice being issued by a court at the request of an aggrieved party.”
The misuse of India’s Dowry Laws and Child Abduction is a great concern for travelers from USA, and we urge the Dept of State to issue travel advisory to that effect so that innocent travelers from USA are aware of the law misuse situation in India.
The below link talks about NRI issues in media :-http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-01-20/news/58268180_1_nris-indian-diaspora-anindya-chatterjee
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