Dubai: An elderly Indian man who was stuck in the UAE for eight years after he got involved in a blood money case finally flew home last week following a report in Gulf News.
A.S. Sankaranarayanan, 61, settled the Dh200,000 diya (blood money) after Emirates Islamic Bank paid the entire amount on his behalf.
The bank came forward to help him after reading the Gulf News report on April 2.
Sankaranarayanan has now been reunited with his wife and 17-year-old daughter in Kerala.
I am thankful to Gulf News and Emirates Islamic Bank for this noble gesture ... Without their support I wouldn’t have been able to leave even now.”
- Sankaranarayanan | Indian expat, 61
Sankaranarayanan was languishing in the UAE as he was unable to pay the diya to the family of a Bangladeshi worker who died of electrical shock in a washroom at the latter’s labour accommodation in 2009.
He claimed that he was accused in the case after he submitted his passport in a Sharjah court to officiate his former employer.
“I had no direct connection with the case. He [the worker] worked for our sister company. As the case advanced in the court, my employer requested me to officiate him on his behalf as he had to travel frequently. Being the first and an obedient employee having a good relationship with the owner, and in good faith, I submitted my passport in the court allowing him to retrieve his passport,” Sankaranarayanan had claimed.
“To my bad luck, the court verdict that came in 2010 said that I am responsible for paying the blood money of Dh200,000 to the worker’s family.”
An appeal in the lower court was turned down, following which no appeal was made in the Federal Supreme Court, he said.
“My employer had said he would pay it. But, unfortunately, he died of cardiac arrest while in India in 2013.”
Though his son, who took over the company, allowed Sankaranarayanan to continue working till a year ago, he had also refused to take the responsibility for the liability.
Before boarding his flight last week, he said his legal battle had continued for seven more months due to the huge overstay fines that had piled up during the case. The major fines were eventually waived off and he had to pay Dh4,500 only at the end, he said. “I am extremely thankful and indebted to Gulf News and Emirates Islamic Bank for this noble gesture,” said the former office supervisor with an electromechanical company in Sharjah.
He said it was unexpected of one particular company to bear the whole amount. “What Emirates Islamic Bank did is a great gesture in this Year of Giving.”
He also thanked the Indian Consulate in Dubai and the Indian People’s Forum for supporting him to solve his issues.
“Without the support of all these kind people I wouldn’t have been able to leave even now,” he said.
Awatif Al Harmoudi, general manager, Operational Governance — Emirates Islamic, said as per the values of Islam, Islamic banks have a social responsibility to assist people in need.
“He had managed to collect some portion of the blood money. However, we extended the contribution of the entire amount [through the Emirates Islamic Charity Fund], allowing him to resume a normal life after his release, especially as he is more than 60 years old.”
He added that the bank is happy that Sankaranarayanan’s case has been resolved and he is back with his family.