Dubai: A video of a government official beating a van driver was posted on YouTube has generated a public outcry and urged police to take legal action, said a legal expert.

“Initially it was an ordinary assault case, yet as soon as it was posted on YouTube, it went viral on social media channels. Since then, the case became of public concern and incited public opinion — that was when Dubai Police intervened. They took the required legal action against the involved persons,” advocate Mohammad Abdullah Al Redha told Gulf News on Tuesday.

Sources from Dubai Public Prosecution confirmed to Gulf News that investigations started in the afternoon as soon as they received the case.

Al Redha said: “It became a case of disdain and disparagement and particularly that it’s Ramadan, the month of mercy and forgiveness. When such incidents develop into a matter of public opinion and concern, police have the right to refer the case to prosecutors. According to the Criminal Procedures Law’s article 10, the Public Prosecution [in its capacity as the legal representative of the public right] can order the police to open an official complaint against the government official even if the van driver doesn’t do so.”

Prosecutors can still take legal action against the government official and forward him to court even if the litigating parties reconcile and the van driver grants him a waiver.

In case prosecutors charge the government official with beating the driver and refer him to court, Al Redha explained: “The Emirati would be referred to the Dubai Misdemeanor Court. The Penal Code’s article 339 stipulates that a suspect faces up to a year in jail and a maximum fine Dh10,000 if he/she beats a victim without causing injuries that prevent him/her from carrying out his duties up to 20 days.”