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Dubai Court Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: The Dubai Court of Appeal has found three men guilty of negligence and causing 100 per cent disability to a worker who fell in a four-metre hole at a construction site in Dubai.

According to official records, the 53-year-old Indian worker was walking at a construction site at Al Ruwayyah area in Dubai, when he fell into a hole from the first floor of a building and sustained severe injuries in his head. The worker was transferred to Rashid Hospital where he stayed in a coma for about six months.

Dubai Police summoned the safety and security officer, foreman and the site supervisor, all Indian, for questioning. A 65-year-old Egyptian engineer was also summoned.

The worker was performing his duty as part of the night shift when he wanted to rest in an under-construction room. However, he didn’t notice the hole in the room.

Investigators blamed the defendants for not putting a cover on the hole. There were no warning signs or lights either. Medical reports revealed the Indian worker sustained brain damage and will be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

An Indian worker testified that it was 2.30am when the victim left the worksite and proceeded to sleep on the first floor. “He was walking and didn’t pay attention to the hole. Usually, after we finish our work, we go and take a rest,” said the Indian worker in official records.

Dubai Public Prosecution charged the three Indian and Egyptian defendants with accidentally causing injury to the victim. Dubai Court of Misdemeanour found them guilty and ordered their deportation after payment of a Dh3,000 fine.

However, lawyer Hani Hammouda from Kefah Al Zaabi Advocates, representing the Egyptian engineer, appealed against the verdict claiming his client was a consultant engineer and had no authority on the site. “There is no criminal responsibility on my client as he is a consultant engineer. The victim isn’t under the responsibility of my client as the victim works for a construction company and he isn’t responsible to follow the victim’s work,” lawyer Hammouda told Gulf News.

He said that the construction company warned their workers not to go outside the worksite but the victim had gone to the room from where he fell. “The victim walked from the work site to another area despite the warning. He needed to be with the safety officer during the work hours on the site,” Hammouda added.

The Dubai Court of Appeal overturned the verdict and cleared the Egyptian engineer of the charges.