The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday unveiled a raft of modifications to private and prison legal guidelines, together with decriminalisation of alcohol consumption and divorce below the legal guidelines of nation of origin, that may have implications for tens of millions of Indian expatriates.
UAE President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, authorised federal legislation decrees to amend private standing, civil transactions, penal code, and prison procedural legal guidelines to boost the legislative atmosphere and “entrench the ideas of tolerance within the society and strengthen the nation’s place as a most well-liked hub that pulls folks to reside and work”, state-run WAM information company reported.
The UAE is house to some three.four million Indians, one of many largest diaspora populations in West Asia, and the expatriates embrace professionals and blue collar employees.
The modifications have been described by The Nationwide newspaper as “one of many greatest overhauls of the authorized system in years” and the brand new legal guidelines “mirror progressive measures to enhance dwelling requirements” and to make sure the UAE stays “a vacation spot for international direct funding”.
A number of of the modifications could have important implications for expatriates, because the legal guidelines of the nation of origin will now apply in issues reminiscent of divorces as a substitute of Shariah or Islamic legislation.
“Primarily based on the UAE’s stable dedication to defending ladies’s rights, amendments to the penal code and prison procedural legislation have repealed the article giving decreased (lenient) sentence in what is named ‘honour crimes’,” WAM reported.
In circumstances of divorce or separation of expatriates within the UAE, the legal guidelines of the nation the place the wedding passed off will apply, and a court docket may mediate within the division of joint property and joint accounts. Instances of wills or division of property of a deceased expatriate who didn’t go away a may also will probably be dealt with below the legal guidelines of the nation of nationality, as a substitute of Shariah, as was the case up to now.
Suicide and tried suicide have been decriminalised below the modifications. Anybody who survived an try and take their life may have been prosecuted below the sooner legal guidelines.
Alcohol consumption too was decriminalised and an individual consuming or in possession of alcohol or promoting alcohol in authorised areas with out an alcohol licence received’t face penalties, in keeping with media experiences. Nonetheless, an individual have to be 21 years outdated to drink legally and anybody discovered promoting alcohol to an underage individual will nonetheless be punished.
The modifications additionally enable the “authorized cohabitation of single couples”. Up to now, it was unlawful for an single couple or unrelated individuals to share a house within the UAE.
Consensual intercourse received’t be punished below the modifications, however consensual intercourse involving an individual below 14 years of age or a mentally challenged individual will probably be punished. An individual convicted of sexual activity with a minor or mentally challenged individual by drive will probably be given the loss of life penalty.
A key change to the penal code was the abolition of an article that allowed decreased punishment for so-called “honour crimes”. Underneath the modifications, such crimes will probably be handled as assault or homicide.
One other necessary change that might profit Indians is an modification to the penal procedural legislation that states arresting officers should have an interpreter current if a suspect or witness doesn’t know Arabic. Courts should additionally be certain that authorized translators can be found for defendants and witnesses who don’t communicate Arabic.