Dubai: Dubai’s Penal Order had settled over 16,000 cases out of court last year, while the majority of the cases were bounced cheques.
In the latest report issued by Dubai Public Prosecution, 16,289 cases were settled in Dubai last year by penal order and the majority of the cases were finalised, collecting Dh48.1 million.
The penal order allows minor misdemeanours and offences to be dealt with through fines rather than the court system; people with bounced cheques worth less than Dh200,000 can be punished by prosecution without the case being referred to court, against a maximum fine of Dh10,000.
Dubai’s Attorney General Essam Issa Al Humaidan said that the penal order initiative had a prominent result since it was rolled out in December 2017. “The penal order achieved best results, cut time and effort as well as significantly improved the efficiency of justice. Implementing the order allow courts to focus more on some serious offences,” Al Humaidan said in a statement.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a drop in cases settled of penal order last year compared to 2019, when Dubai Public Prosecution settled 29,629 cases. “The number of penal order cases dropped in 2020 due to the pandemic and closures. Limiting the social and economic activities reduced the cases,” added Al Humaidan.
The number of cases dropped from 2,040 cases in January last year to just four cases in April in the same year.
Dubai’s Attorney General said that bounced cheques were the majority of cases last year accounting for 83 per cent of the cases. The total number of bounced cheque cases stood at 13,517 — 67 per cent of which cases were for cheques worth less than Dh50,000.
According to Al Humaidan, his department was following up closely to implement the penal order in line with the legislative and legal framework. “93 per cent of the penal order cases were implemented last year. The amount of money involved was Dh48.1 million. It shows the efficiency in returning people’s rights that will have a positive impact on Dubai’s development,” added Al Humaidan.