Legal officials turn a blind eye to forgery

DUBAI - The Legal Affairs Department at the Ministry of Education has turned a blind eye to a forgery case, when it chose to ignore the forged appointment letter of the wife of a principal of a private school in Dubai. The husband had submitted the forged letter to the departments concerned at the Ministries of Education and Labour.

By Mohsen Rashid

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Published: Thu 2 Jun 2005, 12:07 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:56 PM

Instead of referring the case to the Public Prosecution, the Legal Affairs Department informed the licensee that the ministry was not interested in dealing with the school principal, and merely registered the incident as a violation of rules governing private education by Al Farooq (Pakistani) School.

Khaleej Times had earlier carried in these columns a report on how the school principal, Akram Akbar Shah, forged the appointment letter of his wife by removing the photograph from the appointment letter issued to another teacher who had since quit the job, and replaced it with his wife's photo. Changes were also made in the names column and the forged document was submitted at the ministries of education and labour, thus violating the Private Education and Labour laws.

Page six of the memo issued by the Legal Affairs Department said the incident was not reported as per the provisions of the Penal Procedures Law as contained in Article 38, and only considered the administrative and procedural matters when it notified the licence holder that the ministry was not interested in dealing with the school principal since "he is not worthy of confidence." The school was subsequently fined Dh8,000.

The same memo also mentions that as per provisions of Article 38 of the Penal Procedure No. 35 of 1992, all white collar or civil servants who come to know of a crime must immediately report it to the public prosecution or the nearest judicially authorised officer. Another report filed by the department concerned at the Ministry of Education and Dubai Educational Zone revealed that the school had indulged in other violations too. These included women teachers teaching in the school without an employment contract despite their receiving appointment letters and male teachers working in the school without having employment contract, labour card or appointment letter. The school principal also reportedly works for the local government in Dubai, and despite several notices served on him to give up the principal's post, continued to associate himself with the school.

Dubai Educational Zone had earlier directed that the school's licence should not be renewed till it rectifies the legal status of the building, clear the irregularities and not to admit new students till all such issues are sorted out.

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