Grievance Redressal Mechanism for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs)

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Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are people of Indian descent who have moved away but yet feel a strong connection to their own country. As a result, they are governed by the same laws as Indian citizens generally. However, particularly when it comes to real estate and other assets in India, they might not necessarily be aware of their rights or how to seek recourse. The Grievance Redressal Mechanism for NRIs comes into action in this situation.

Grievance Redressal Mechanism for NRIs

As an NRI, there are a lot of unique issues that can be difficult to address if you’re living in another country. From property disputes to financial fraud and more, it can be hard to know who to turn to for help. Fortunately, India has set up an effective grievance redressal mechanism for NRIs. In this blog post, we will explore the different aspects of the grievance redressal system for NRIs and how you can make use of it should you find yourself in a legal dispute. We will also look at some common kinds of grievances that NRIs may face and the steps they need to take to ensure their safety and security.

What is a Grievance Redressal Mechanism?

A grievance redressal mechanism is a system through which an organization or individual can address complaints or problems. The purpose of a grievance redressal mechanism is to provide a fair and speedy resolution to the problem. There are many different types of grievance redressal mechanisms, but they all share the common goal of resolving disputes fairly and efficiently.

  • Arbitration- a process in which two parties agree to submit their dispute to a neutral third party for resolution. The arbitrator will hear both sides of the dispute and then make a decision based on the evidence presented. Arbitration is often used in cases where the parties do not want to go to court, or when they want to avoid the expense and delay of litigation.
  • Mediation- similar to arbitration, but instead of having a third party make a decision, the mediator helps the parties reach their agreement. Mediation can be used in any type of dispute, but it is often used in cases where the parties have something to lose by going to court, such as time or money.

There are many other types of grievance redressal mechanisms, such as adjudication, conciliation, and negotiation. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, so it is important to choose the right one for your particular situation.

Grievance Redressal Mechanism for NRIs

The Grievance Redressal Mechanism for NRIs has been set up by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India to address the grievances of Indian nationals residing abroad. The objective of the Mechanism is to provide a speedy, time-bound, and hassle-free resolution of grievances relating to various services being provided by the Missions/Posts abroad. The Mechanism comprises a Centralized Grievance Redressal System (CGRS) and a decentralized system through the Indian Missions/Posts.

The CGRS will receive, process, and monitor grievances received from the Indian Missions/Posts and outreach programs. It will also liaise with various Ministries/Departments/Agencies in India for the resolution of grievances.

The decentralized system through the Missions/Posts will be responsible for receiving, registering, and referring grievances to the CGRS. The Missions/Posts will also provide follow-up action on resolutions received from the CGRS.

Grievance in Country of Residence

If you have a grievance against any authority or person in India, you can approach the Grievance Redressal Officer (GRO) of the concerned Indian Mission/Post abroad. The contact details of the GROs are available on the website of the Ministry of External Affairs. 

The following is the list of grievances that can be addressed by the GROs:

  • Non-delivery or delayed delivery of passports;
  • Non-delivery or delayed delivery of other consular documents;
  • Wrongful detention or arrest in India;
  • Police harassment in India;
  • Illegal eviction from the property in India;
  • Attacks on Indians in India;
  • Rental/service/trade disputes in India; and
  • Any other matter which may cause hardship to an Indian national abroad.

Why do NRIs need a Grievance Redressal Mechanism?

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) have been playing an important role in the economy of India. They are the second-largest group of the Indian diaspora after the United States. NRIs are estimated to be around 30 million and their remittances to India are around US$70 billion.

However, there have been several instances where NRIs have faced problems related to property, investments, etc. in India. In some cases, they have even been cheated by unscrupulous elements. There is a need for a grievance redressal mechanism for NRIs so that they can lodge their complaints and get speedy resolution of their issues.

At present, there is no dedicated grievance redressal mechanism for NRIs in India. They have to approach various government departments or agencies depending on the nature of their problem. This is often a time-consuming and frustrating process.

The Ministry of External Affairs has set up a portal called “Madad” which provides information about various government schemes and services that are available to NRIs. However, this portal does not provide any mechanism for lodging complaints or seeking redressal of grievances. There is a need for a centralized grievance redressal mechanism for NRIs where they can lodge their complaints and get speedy resolution of their issues. Such a mechanism will go a long way in protecting the interests of NRIs and boosting confidence in the investment climate of India.

What are the Benefits of a Grievance Redressal Mechanism for NRIs?

There are many benefits of a grievance redressal mechanism for NRIs. It helps to ensure that their rights are protected and that they have a forum to voice their concerns. Additionally, it can help to build trust between NRIs and the government, and improve communication and transparency.

How does the Grievance Redressal Mechanism work for NRIs?

The Grievance Redressal Mechanism (GRM) is a system set up by the Government of India to address the grievances of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). The GRM is headed by a Senior Officer in the Ministry of External Affairs, who is assisted by a team of officers from various Central and State government departments. The GRM comprises two channels for the redressal of grievances – an online portal and a helpline. 

The online portal, called the ‘NRI Grievance Portal’, enables NRIs to lodge their grievances electronically. The portal also has a facility for tracking the status of the grievance and for providing feedback. The NRI Grievance Helpline is a toll-free number that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. The Helpline provides information on various facilities and services available to NRIs, as well as assistance in resolving their grievances.

The GRM deals with a range of issues faced by NRIs, such as passport-related problems, visa issues, difficulties in getting Indian consular services, problems with the property in India, issues relating to investments and pensions, etc. In addition to addressing individual grievances, the GRM also takes up policy-level issues that impact large numbers of NRIs. These could include changes in government regulations that make it difficult for NRIs to do business in India or problems with getting access to essential services like healthcare and education.

What are the Types of Grievances that can be Filed?

Three types of grievances can be filed with the Grievance Redressal Mechanism for NRIs. These are:

  • Complaints about the non-response of public authorities to communications from NRIs.
  • Complaints about the non-adherence of public authorities to the timeframes specified in the RTI Act for responding to communications from NRIs.
  • Any other complaint relating to the functioning of public authorities which affects the interests of NRIs.

Grievance during a Visit to India

If you are an NRI who has been wronged during a visit to India, there are a few avenues of recourse available to you. You can file a complaint with the Indian High Commission or Embassy in your country of residence, or with the local police in India. 

  • If you wish to file a complaint with the Indian High Commission or Embassy, you will need to provide supporting documentation such as police reports, medical reports, and/or evidence of financial losses incurred. The High Commission or Embassy will then investigate your complaint and take appropriate action.
  • If you choose to file a police report in India, you should first approach the local police station where the incident took place. If the local police are unable or unwilling to help, you can contact the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) or the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC). Both of these organizations have the power to investigate complaints and take action against perpetrators.
  • The NHRC is particularly well-equipped to deal with human rights violations, so if your grievance falls under this category (for example, if you were subjected to physical violence), it is worth contacting them. The NCDRC can help resolve disputes relating to consumer rights, such as issues about false advertising or defective products.