Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said the Centre will introduce a bill during the Winter Session of Parliament to prevent Non-Resident Indian men from deserting their wives abroad, PTI reported. The Winter Session will be held between December 11 and January 8.

Swaraj said the Centre has already put in place an institutional mechanism to curb such cases and revoked the passports of 25 men who had allegedly deserted their wives. The minister was replying to a query from reporters at a Bharatiya Janata Party election campaign event in Hyderabad.

On November 13, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to respond to a petition seeking mandatory arrest of Non-Resident Indian men accused of deserting their wives and harassing them for dowry. A group of women had sought the top court’s intervention and asked for consular and legal help for women fighting such cases outside the country.

In February, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had said the Centre was considering changes to the criminal law that will allow property of Non-Resident Indian men who desert their wives to be confiscated, the Hindustan Times reported. The proposed new law will also allow for the prosecution of NRIs who do not answer summons.