A student driver is assisted by an instructor at a driving institute in Al Qusais, Dubai. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Photo: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: A worker was slapped with a fine of Dh500,000 and jailed for three months for ridiculing the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) via an email in which he claimed the authority ripped off the poor.

The RTA had received from the 25-year-old Indian worker an email that it deemed as insulting and disdaining as the sender had claimed that the authority took “poor people’s money by making them intentionally fail in driving tests and forcing them to repeat the tests”.

The RTA’s department concerned reported it to Dubai Police.

In the email, he said RTA took poor people’s money by failing them in driving tests intentionally.

On Tuesday, the Dubai Court of First Instance also jailed the accused for three months although he had pleaded not guilty and maintained that he had been frustrated after he failed his driving test.

Records showed the email was sent from the personal email address of the defendant.

Presiding judge Mohammad Jamal fined the accused Dh500,000 for mocking and offending a government department via the email which he sent using his smart phone.

“The mobile device that was used in the crime will be confiscated. The defendant will be deported following the completion of his punishment,” said presiding judge Jamal.

According to the charge sheet, the defendant breached the cybercrime law and misused the email in which he ridiculed RTA.

In the email, the accused mentioned that he was a victim himself and that the RTA took money from the poor, who worked very hard, and that the authority manipulated their emotions.

“I was under frustration,” the accused argued in court.

An RTA official testified that they reported the matter to the police because the email contained phrases and words that were deemed offensive and maligning to the RTA staff.

The defendant was quoted as telling prosecutors that he sent the email from his iPhone.

The prosecutors provided the court with a copy of the email as evidence and asked for the implementation of the toughest punishment applicable, as per the UAE’s cybercrime law.

The defendant was not present in the court when the ruling was issued.

The primary judgement remains subject to appeal within 15 days.