On March 28, 2010 the Sharjah Court of First Instance pronounced the death sentence on 17 Indian nationals, who were accused of killing a Pakistani national in January 2009. Given the extraordinary nature of this case the Government of India decided to appeal the verdict and defend the accused. During the appeals process, the Honourable Sharjah Court of Appeals suggested that both sides consider a mutually agreeable understanding for an early resolution of the case. Such an understanding was also desired by the accused. Guided by the same opinion, some members of the Indian community, led by Mr. SP Singh Oberoi, independently contacted, pursued and reached a compromise with the family of the deceased.
The Government of India respects the local judicial process and the accepted judicial practices. Safeguarding the interest of the 17 accused has remained our principal and abiding concern. From early 2010, the Consulate has closely pursued the interest of the accused. After about 18 months and in its seventeenth hearing the case has seen a closure. Today, the Honourable Judge Abdullah Al Shamsi of the Sharjah Court of Appeals ruled that the accused be deported after a 2-year sentence. Since the 17 have already been imprisoned for over 2 years now, their release appears imminent. The Consulate is processing their travel documents and will arrange for their air tickets to India. The exact date of release and deportation will also depend on some procedural clearances by the UAE government.
The Consulate takes this opportunity to put on record its appreciation for the relentless effort by our lawyers, Mr. Mohammad Salman and Ms. Bindu Chettur. We also acknowledge the role of Mr. S.P. Singh Oberoi, who has shown an extraordinary selflessness in spearheading the community initiative to resolve this case. Our appreciation also extends to the Sharjah jail authorities for extending their complete cooperation during this process. We also thank Mr. Hari of the Indian Association, Sharjah for his assistance in this matter.
12th September 2011