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World Indians In Murder Case May Be Freed (UAE)


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
by Iman Mojib

SHARJAH: The 17 Indians, who were awarded death sentence by a Sharia court in Sharjah for killing a Pakistani, may soon walk free as the family of the deceased has agreed to pardon them in return of Pakistani Rs80 million (approximately Dhs3.5 million) compensation.

The 17 Indians, 16 from Punjab and one from Haryana states of India, were sentenced to death by the Sharia court in Sharjah in March 2010 for allegedly killing a Pakistani man and injuring three others in January 2009 following a fight over illegal liquor business.

Due to the extraordinary nature of the case, the government of India hired a team of lawyers to defend the accused in the Appeal Court. The appeal was filed on April 8, 2010, following which the case was reopened on May 19, 2010. Since then 15 hearings have been held.

When the hearing began on Wednesday, the Sharjah Court of Appeals was informed that a preliminary understanding had been reached by the Indian community with the family of the deceased. Taking note of this important development, Justice Abdullah Al Shamsi ruled that the court would now convene on July 27 to receive the pardon papers and meet other formalities.

For an early resolution, the court had earlier suggested a mutually agreeable understanding between the two sides. Since, such an agreement was also desired by the accused, Dubai-based Indian businessman SP Singh Oberoi contacted and pursued the possibility of a compromise with the family of the deceased.

Singh informed the court that Pakistani Rs1 million has been paid to the family member of the deceased, Misri Khan, and assured the court that he will arrange the rest of the amount in a week.

Singh said that this was all in a day’s work for him as he has been helping a number of Indians jailed for illegal liquor sale and murder. However, he refused to acknowledge that paying cash to get such prisoners freed sends wrong signals.

A press statement issued by the Consulate General of India in Dubai stated: “The Government of India respects the local judicial process and is fully cognisant of the accepted judicial practices. Safeguarding the interest of the 17 accused has remained our principal and abiding concern. We have no objection to the path of compromise, which is an accepted judicial norm, invoked by the community on behalf of the accused.”

Members of the Sikh community in the UAE welcomed the news. Baljit Singh, the UAE representative of Sikhs for Justice and the All India Sikh Students Federation, said he always advocated for a negotiated settlement. “I was the first to suggest a negotiated settlement and am proven right,” he added.




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