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Legal/Financial Assistance Scheme of up to USD $1000 for Women Deserted by their Overseas Indian Spouses

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The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs is running a scheme to provide legal assistance to Indian women divorced/deserted by their overseas Indian spouses.

The domicile of the woman seeking relief under the scheme is not relevant for allowing the benefit and the woman may be domiciled in the country of her overseas Indian spouse or in India at the time of making the application.

Under the scheme, Indian Missions in the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Gulf would empanel credible Indian women’s organizations, Indian community associations, and/or NGOs to provide legal aid to women in distress who have been deserted by their overseas Indian spouses.

The term “Overseas Indian” includes NRIs (Non-resident Indians) and foreign citizens of Indian origin.

The following requirements must be met in order for a woman to be eligible for assistance under this program:

·         The woman must be an Indian passport holder

·         The marriage must have been  solemnized in India

·         The woman’s spouse has deserted her in India or after being abroad within 5 years of the marriage

·         The divorce proceedings are initiated by her spouse within five years of the marriage

·         The spouse has obtained an ex parte divorce within ten years of the marriage, including alimony and maintenance being filed.

·         A woman who has criminal records or pending criminal charges is ineligible to participate in this program.

 The Indian women’s organizations/NGOs will assist with meeting the cost of filing and documentation of each case.  The limit to monetary assistance is $1,000 US dollars, which will be given to the Indian women’s organizations/NGOs, who are responsible for assisting with filing and documenting the case.  It is hoped that community advocates, especially women’s rights advocates, will aide with further legal assistance, court appearances, etc. on a pro bono basis.

Additional information on this program can be found at: http://www.indiacgny.org/php/showAddtnlArticle.php?art_id=2

 

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