Scheme for giving Legal / Financial assistance to Indian women deserted by their overseas Indian / Foreigner husbands
The objective of the scheme is to provide some financial assistance to needy Indian women in distress who have been deserted by their overseas Indian / Foreigner husbands for obtaining counselling and legal services.
Who is eligible for assistance under the scheme?
The assistance would be available to women who have been deserted by their overseas Indian/Foreigner spouses or are facing divorce proceedings in a foreign country subject to the following conditions:-
- The woman is an Indian passport holder.
- The marriage of the woman has been solemnized in India/Overseas with an overseas Indian or foreigner.
- The woman is deserted in India or after reaching abroad within fifteen years of the marriage. or
- Divorce proceedings are initiated within fifteen years of the marriage by her overseas Indian/Foreigner spouse. or
- An ex-parte divorce has been obtained by the overseas Indian/ Foreigner spouse within twenty years of marriage and a case for maintenance and alimony is to be filed.
- The scheme would not be available to a woman facing criminal charges or having a criminal case decided against her, provided that a criminal charge of Parental Child Abduction shall not be a bar if the custody of the child has not yet been adjudicated upon.
- The domicile of the woman seeking relief under the scheme is not relevant for allowing the benefit. The woman may be domiciled in the country of her overseas Indian spouse or in India at the time of making the application.
- Preference may be given to applicants on the basis of financial needs.
- Assistance will be provided to meet the legal and other costs, by the Heads of Indian Mission directly to the applicant’s legal counsel empanelled with the Mission, or through the Indian Community Associations/ Women’s organizations/NGOs acting on the woman’s behalf in an overseas legal institution.
- The assistance will be limited to US $3000 per case and will be released to the empanelled legal counsel of the applicant or Indian Community Associations/ Women’s organizations/NGO concerned to enable it to take steps to assist the woman in documentation and preparatory work for filing the case.
- The Indian Women’s Organizations/Indian Community Associations/NGOs will make efforts to enlist community advocates, preferably women advocates, to extend further legal assistance/ appearance in court etc on a pro-bono basis.
How will the counselling and legal services be provided to them?
The counselling and legal services would be provided through credible Indian Women's Organizations/Indian Community Associations and NGOs identified for providing such services and empanelled with the Indian Mission.
Is there a form to apply for assistance under the scheme?
A Performa is available on the website which after completing can be forwarded to the High Commission. The applications for providing legal aid would be examined by the designated officer on case-to-case basis and approved by Head of Mission/Deputy Chief of the Mission.
Details of the Scheme on Legal and Financial Assistance to Indian Women Deserted by their Overseas Indian Spouse http://moia.gov.in/writereaddata/pdf/THE_SCHEME_NEW.pdf
Prescribed Performa for seeking assistance under the Scheme http://moia.gov.in/pdf/PROFORMA_FOR_GIVING_LEGAL.pdf