Dubai: An employee has been jailed for three months for assaulting a taxi driver who had asked him to use his seat belt and not to eat in the car.

The 24-year-old Emirati employee, N.M., beat the Pakistani driver and caused him a permanent disability when the latter prevented him from eating in the taxi and insisted that he should wear the seat belt in January.

The Dubai Court of First Instance found N.M. guilty of assaulting the driver and causing him a five per cent permanent disability.

The accused pleaded guilty and told presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi that the driver had waived his complaint.

However, the victim, who was present in court, denied having waived his complaint.

The driver stated that the alleged incident happened after he picked up the Emirati from Morocco Street and was driving him to Festival City.

“He did not put on his seat belt. When I asked him to do so, he refused. Then he opened his bag and wanted to eat food … I told him that eating in the taxi is against the company’s policy. When I reached the destination, he stepped out of the vehicle, then kicked the door shut angrily. When I asked him why he did that, he opened the door again and said ‘I am an Emirati’. When I asked him to close the door so that I could drive away … he refused and kept holding it. I stepped out from my seat and walked towards the door to close it, but he beat me. He hit me with a watch that he had in his hand repeatedly until I bled. Two security guards from Festival City and I restrained N.M. until the police came and took him into custody,” testified the driver.

Wednesday’s ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.