Son in UAE jail for spying for India, mother may have to wait till 2025 to see him

  • | Monday | 6th December, 2021

Kochi, Dec 6 (PTI) Shahubanath Beevi, mother of Shihani Meera Sahib Jamal Mohammed, may have to wait till 2025 to see her son -- presently serving a 10- year jail term in a prison there since 2015 for allegedly spying for the Indian government -- after the Centre told the Kerala High Court that its Embassy there has done all it can. Her son was awarded a 10-year jail term in August 2015 and the sentence was upheld by the Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal and therefore, he would be released in September 2025 and then deported back to India, the Centre has told the high court. The Centre has said that the Indian Embassy in UAE had requested the local authorities to consider the case sympathetically and pardon the sentence of Mohammed, but being a case related to that country"s national security they declined to grant any such relief. As there was nothing more the Embassy could do, it had updated the same on the MADAD portal and recommended that it be closed, the Centre has said. The central government has also told the court that the emails sent to the Embassy for filing a mercy petition on behalf of Mohammed have been forwarded to the concerned local authorities for their sympathetic consideration. The submissions by the Centre were made in a statement filed in the court in response to Shahubanath Beevi"s plea, filed through advocate Jose Abraham, seeking legal support for her son. The woman has claimed that her son has been subjected to "severe torture and harassment" and he did not get any kind of support from the Indian Embassy there or the central government. Refuting the allegation, the Centre has said that when the Embassy came to know of her son"s arrest in 2015, it had sent an official communication in September 2015 to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE for investigation into the matter and seeking the reasons for the arrest and consular access to Mohammed. As no response was received, the Embassy had in January 2016 sent a reminder, the Centre has claimed and added that in March 2017 consular access to Mohammed was obtained and an official had visited him in the prison. In view of the above facts, the Centre has urged the court to close the petition. The matter was taken up on Monday, but as the UAE Embassy here has not been impleaded, the court listed it for hearing on December 9. The woman, in her plea, has claimed that according to the judgements passed by the UAE courts in the matter, her son was "acting for the Indian Embassy officials in UAE". The woman has alleged that her son was not even provided proper legal aid to defend himself in the courts there. PTI HMP SS SS

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