Monday, December 10, 2012

Indian convicts in UAE can serve their jail terms in Indian prisons

The UAE Cabinet has approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with India for extraditing Indian convicts so that they can serve their remaining jail terms in Indian prisons.

More than a thousand Indian prisoners are expected to benefit from the deal which was signed by the two countries in 2010.

However, the deal doesn’t include prisoners imprisoned for financial crimes. “If such offenders are transferred to India, who will ensure that the pending payments are cleared? It can create complications,” said K Kumar of Indian Community Welfare Committee (ICWC), a welfare body functioning under the auspices of the Indian Embassy in the UAE.

“There are about 500 plus Indian prisoners in Dubai alone. The number would exceed 1,000 if all the other emirates are taken into consideration,” added Kumar. ICWC frequently conducts prison visits across the country.

According to him, prisoners who are liable to pay Diya (blood money paid as compensation to accident victims) may not also be transferred to India.

Earlier, prisoners had expressed apprehension about moving to Indian prisons due to their substandard facilities.

“Most prisoners are of the opinion that jails in the UAE are far better than those in India. For many others, a transfer to Indian prisons would also mean exposing themselves to family and relatives back home. In many cases family members and relatives may not have been informed about their crime and prison sentence. A transfer to India would make them more vulnerable,” said Kumar.

“According to the MoU only those prisoners who are willing to be transferred to India would be sent back,” he added.