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UAE: Chief Justice of India raises concerns over 175 pending extraditions, transfer of 105 prisoners

In 1999, India and the UAE signed a bilateral extradition treaty in New Delhi



N.V. Ramana, the Chief Justice of India, addresses community members at the India Social and Cultural Centre in Abu Dhabi. (Photos supplied)
N.V. Ramana, the Chief Justice of India, addresses community members at the India Social and Cultural Centre in Abu Dhabi. (Photos supplied)
by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 18 Mar 2022, 2:28 PM

Last updated: Fri 18 Mar 2022, 10:27 PM

N.V. Ramana, the Chief Justice of India, met Abdullah bin Sultan bin Awad Al Nuaimi, the UAE’s Minister of Justice, and took up the matter of 175 pending extradition orders, transfer of 105 prisoners and consular access to Indians in prisons.

On an official visit to the UAE – a first by an Indian chief justice, Ramana discussed several welfare measures and issues with Al Nuaimi and got assurance of immediate action.

The CJI and the high-level Indian delegation, including Supreme Court Judge Hima Kohli, also visited the Federal Supreme Court where they were received by its President Mohammed bin Hamad Al Badi. The Ambassador of India to UAE, Sunjay Sudhir, accompanied the delegation.

CJI, SC Judge met Al Nuaimi, Al Badi
CJI, SC Judge met Al Nuaimi, Al Badi

“We have discussed with the Justice Minister some of the issues, which are bothering particularly the Ambassador (to the UAE) and the Consul General. There are around 175 people whose extradition orders are pending. And the minister agreed to immediately look into this issue and try to expedite these extradition orders,” Ramana said during a reception hosted at the India Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) in Abu Dhabi.

In 1999, India and the UAE signed a bilateral extradition treaty in New Delhi. In 2020, the instruments of ratification were exchanged in Abu Dhabi.

“Apart from that, there are 105 transfers of sentenced prisoners. This issue also they said would try to solve it immediately. We made a request to allow consular access to visit Indians in prison. These are the three important humanitarian issues.”

During his meeting with Al Nuaimi, Ramana pointed out the delay in offering benefits by companies to expats who have lost their jobs despite court rulings in this regard. He praised the creation of a family court for non-Muslims but said there were not enough interpreters for those who don’t understand Arabic and English. “The minister has promised to solve these issues.”

Discussions held regarding extradition
Discussions held regarding extradition

He urged Indian associations in the UAE to think about creating a legal assistance centre.

“As the Chief Justice of India, I cannot make any promise to you. But I can suggest to organisations such as the India Cultural and Social Centre to think about creating a legal assistance centre to help those in need of legal assistance in India. Both the national and state legal services authorities are able to take care of legal service needs of 70 per cent of the needy population, totally free of cost. I can assure that Indian legal services authorities will extend all possible help in dealing with the legal problems of the needy in India.”

Ramana highlighted that one of the major reasons for the strong ties between the two nations has been the fact that Indians constituted one of the largest ethnic groups in the UAE.

“Nearly 3.5 million Indian expats live here comprising around 30 per cent of the total population. Over the years Indians have significantly contributed to the development of the UAE.”

The CJI lauded the role played by the diaspora in the progress made by India and whenever the countrymen faced any natural disaster like Kerala’s devastating floods. He recited lines from a song of Indian cinema’s classic ‘Shree 420’ on how Indian expats remain attached to their country.

Ambassador Sunjay Sudhir felicitates CJI Ramana
Ambassador Sunjay Sudhir felicitates CJI Ramana

“Do not forget your motherland and don’t detach your roots. Sustain and promote your culture, celebrate festivals, organise, and join cultural events. It’s through these concerted efforts that you can maintain brotherhood between communities and sustain much needed solidarity.”

Meanwhile, Supreme Court Judge Kohli was pleased to see a “vibrant Indian community” in Abu Dhabi.

ISC president Yogish Prabhu and general secretary Jojo J. Ambooken thanked the Indian delegation for interacting with the community members.

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