The proposed tightening of immigration laws by the US government has prompted an engineer working in the US to approach the Bombay High Court to express his difficulty in coming to India to attend criminal proceedings, filed by his wife against him, as he is working on an H1B visa. Taking into consideration the circumstances, the High Court has told him to submit “consent terms” relating to his matrimonial dispute before “The Public Notary” in the US, which will then be submitted before the High Court.
The US H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialised positions for a specified period. The case relates to the matrimonial dispute of an engineer, who got married in Mumbai in August 12, 2012. After a few days in India, the couple moved to the US, after which the relationship turned sour.
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According to the petition filed by the husband, his wife decided that she did not wish to continue with the marriage and filed a complaint with the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) against him and his parents on account of him being allegedly “impotent” and his parents not returning her jewellery she had kept with them during marriage.
The US-based engineer and his parents then filed a petition in the High Court, seeking quashing of the complaint filed by his wife.
In an earlier hearing, the High Court had told both the parties to make “all possible efforts to resolve their matrimonial dispute and to avoid further litigations”. The High Court took note of the fact that the police had not been approached first in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure with the wife approaching the lower court and said that an “appropriate order may be passed” in this regard.
On Tuesday, while both parties agreed to filing of consent terms, the advocate for the engineer informed the court of the challenges which could be posed with him coming to India for the case, taking into account the changed scenario in the US marked by the announcement of the new visa reform. “He is working in the USA on a H1 visa. It will be difficult for him to come to India in such circumstances,” said his lawyer, Prem Keshwani.
Taking into consideration these submissions, the court asked him to submit his consent terms before the Public Notary in the US to be notarised. The same will be then submitted before the Bombay High Court for its consideration on the next date of hearing. Speaking outside the court, the engineer’s lawyer said the consent terms would include a power of attorney for his client’s father to represent him in this case and to proceed with the matter through video-conferencing.
The two had an arranged marriage and the wife had come to India several times between 2012 and 2015. She finally returned in January 2015, stating she did not wish to continue with the marriage and go back to the US.
After the Additional CMM’s order, her complaint was sent to the V P Road police station while the engineer was summoned based on his US address. The wife had alleged that she had kept her jewellery with her in-laws and that they refused to return it.
“The direction given to the police officers by the additional CMM is illegal and registration of FIR against the petitioners on the point of impotency is with malafide intentions,” the petition states. The parents were eventually granted anticipatory bail by the court.