Picture of a passport for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Istockphoto

Question: For what reason can the police seize my passport?

Answer: Police and public prosecutors are allowed to arrest a suspect of crime and seize their passport as per Article 45 of the UAE Criminal Procedure Law, which states that a judicial arrest officer may order the arrest of an accused providing there is sufficient evidence of committing a crime in any of the following cases:

1. Felonies

2. Misdemeanours in which a wrong is imposed and punishable without a fine

3. Misdemeanours punishable without a fine if the accused is under probation or is afraid of the accused escaping.

4. Misdemeanours of theft, fraud, breach of trust, severe abuse, resistance of members of the public authority by force, and violation of the sanctity of public morals and misdemeanours related to weapons, ammunition, intoxicants, and dangerous drugs.

However, during the investigation, police might release the suspect on bail after recording their statement and summoning the suspect to attend court. The bail might be an amount of money or just the suspect’s passport or the passport of one of their relatives, to act as a guarantee that they don’t leave the country and abide with judicial procedure.

On 10 April 2018, Emirates News Agency WAM reported that Dubai Public Prosecution had launched a new ‘Smart Guarantee’ initiative that meant passports would no longer need to be held and that all details would instead be stored electronically.

The passport’s owner still can’t leave the country until the judicial process is complete.

The initiative not only allows people to keep their documents to hand but also limits arrests and enables suspects to manage their affairs, while reducing financial burdens associated with incarceration.

This initiative complements another “Criminal Order” initiative launched last November in which Law No. 1 of 2017 was issued to give Public Prosecution the authority to sign the fine in cases of misdemeanors and minor violations instead of referring them to the court. This raises efficiency of judicial process, and reduces periods of litigation, as fines are signed immediately.

Question: I’ve been working in a company for two years on a limited contract that expires in three months and I am under my husband’s sponsorship with a work permit from the Ministry of Labour. Can I leave work immediately by giving one month’s notice? Can the company reject my resignation and that too do so by email? Will the ministry impose a ban on me even if I’m under my husband’s sponsorship? Do I still have the right to get end of service benefits?

Answer: If you terminate your limited period contract ahead of its term you will lose your rights except those related to annual leave. You are not obliged to work a notice period on a limited contract and the employer has no right to reject the resignation.

You can leave immediately if you choose to break a limited contract but you may be asked to compensate the employer for an amount equivalent to 45 days salary if the employer proves to court that they suffered loss by your behaviour. The employer might request the ministry to impose a one year work ban due to that violation even if you are not under their sponsorship. You also have the right to claim end of service even if you are under your husband’s visa.