16 Feb 2023 10:18 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice on a father’s plea seeking information about his son who is stated to have been jailed in United Arab EmiratesJustice Prathiba M Singh asked the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to obtain all relevant information relating to the person from the authorities in Abu Dhabi. It is the case of Zakir Hussain, 54, that despite repeated efforts made...
The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice on a father’s plea seeking information about his son who is stated to have been jailed in United Arab Emirates
Justice Prathiba M Singh asked the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to obtain all relevant information relating to the person from the authorities in Abu Dhabi.
It is the case of Zakir Hussain, 54, that despite repeated efforts made by him as well as Indian authorities, no reasons or details regarding the reason for his son’s detention have been shared with him. His son, who is a software engineer, went missing on the intervening night of 20-21 July, 2019, according to the petition.
During the course of hearing, the counsel appearing for Union of India submitted that the government has been pursuing the matter and that the petitioner’s son has been sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment by the Federal Court of UAE.
“We have repeatedly requested for consular access, and we've also been asking for the copy of the judgment,” the counsel said.
On court’s query as to why the petitioner’s son has not been given consular access, the counsel submitted, “I will have to verify that but I am told that the embassy officials have met the petitioner’s son thrice now. More than three times.”
The counsel also submitted that the Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi is in constant touch with the authorities there and has been continuously seeking information. However, complete information has not yet been given to the embassy.
Issuing notice in the plea, the court asked the Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi to coordinate with the local counsels and also obtain details of any case which may have been instituted against the petitioner’s son or any other order that may have been passed against him.
Advocate Shahrukh Alam appearing for the petitioner submitted that India has an agreement for transfer of sentenced persons with UAE and thus steps ought to be taken by MEA to seek information and repatriation of the son under the agreement which is operational.
Hearing the parties, the court directed officials in MEA or Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi to keep the petitioner informed of any information that they may acquire either from the UAE authorities or from the law firm engaged by the Government of India.
The matter will now be heard in March.
In his plea, the 54 year old has submitted that while his son is permitted to call his family twice a week for about 5 to 8 minutes, he is instructed to only speak in English language, adding that till date no reason has been provided for his detention.
“It is submitted that the lack of information is not only deeply disturbing but is also preventing the Petitioner from resorting to further legal remedies and is actively preventing him from taking any legal action for bringing his son back to India (including but limited to making an application under the Repatriation o f Prisoners Act, 2003),” the plea states.
The plea has been moved through Advocates Shahrukh Alam, Akriti Chaubey, Shantanu.
Title: Zakir Hussain v. Union of India