Abu Dhabi, Countries, Human Rights, India, Reparation, UAE|March 2, 2013 9:47 am

‘Indo-Gulf reparation mechanisms’ a concise summary of representation

Representation for ‘Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanisms’ ­– Mandating our elected representatives and officers to eliminate discrimination and imbalances of Non-resident Indians (NRIs) working in different countries.

January 30, 2013

Panikkaveetil K. Jabir
5th Floor, Metro Plaza Building
Market Road, Kochi, Kerala – 682 014.

Shri Salman Khurshid,
Hon’ble Minister for External Affairs,
Ministry of External Affairs,
Government of India,
South Block,

indo_gulf_repSub: Representation for ‘Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanisms’ ­– [Strategy Formulation and Implementation of a Mutual Human Rights Law and Reparation Mechanisms Between the Government of India and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries, mandating our elected representatives and officials to eliminate discrimination and imbalances of Non-resident Indians (NRIs) working in different countries. This also involvesthe recognition and protection of the dignity and respect of individuals].

Dear Sir,

The petitioner is a citizen of India, and now resident in the State of Kerala.  The petitioner was subjected to a most inhuman treatment by the authorities of U.A.E.  They are detailed separately.

There have been momentous developments in relation to relations between people working in areas outside their own motherland.  These include important international developments like UN General Assembly Resolution.

Here again, there had been dismal failure of the Government machinery to rise to the expectations of the toiling masses outside India.  In particular, the experiences of those who work in the Gulf countries have been extremely agonizing.

The situation cannot be allowed to pass unnoticed by a responsible and civilized Government.

Many of the member states work in collaboration with the UN Human Rights Mechanisms and treaties detailed by the United Nations.  A brief resume of such measures adopted in different countries are contained in Annexure 1.

The Charter of the Organization of American State signed in 1948, the Charter of Council of Europe adopted in 1950, and the similar Charter in Africa adopted in 1987, are prominent illustrations of the expanding vistas of Human Rights.

In this background, a clear-cut inter-Governmental working arrangement was an absolute necessity between India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

It is sad but true that such an arrangement is not even conceived of even at this late hour.  Consequently, no regional inter-Governmental Human Rights Mechanisms or any procedure incorporating those precious liberties of citizens had been framed.

It has to be remembered in this connection that the remittances of these poorer sections buildup $70 billion of US Dollars of the precious foreign exchange to India.

These wage earners, and hardworking citizens of India, should be insulated against any violations of Human Rights.  The absence of an effective Reparation Mechanism assumes greatest importance in that background.

It has to be remembered that stories of torture and deprivation continue to flow steadily in the working conditions of the Gulf migrants.A most naked and cruel violation of Human Rights (torture included) is illustrated with reference to the personal experiences of the petitioner.

When the facts and files establish such wanton violations of Human Rights, a clear duty is implied on the part of the country wherein the Indian citizens had worked and added to the assets of that country, to give him effective reparation.

The following is the tragic story of the petitioner:

The petitioner was a businessman and investor engaged in the business of ‘Trading and General Contracting’ in Abu Dhabi, UAE for over 18 years. He was attacked by a posse of policemen at his office; robbed of cash and valuables to force him to withdraw a lawsuit against a property owner. He sought intervention from the police. The police did come, but instead of helping him, he was shackled and literally dragged out of the office and on through the street in the presence of known friends and other members of the community. He was confined to a detention center and brutally tortured and later taken to central prison. It took six months thereafter, for the petitioner to have his first appearance in Court

He was implicated in a false case by the Police.  The charge was about “Using force against Government employee and assault”.

The Judges of both the Trial Court and the final Appellate Court of Abu Dhabi found that the petitioner innocent; ‘a martyr’.

The Hon’ble Judges instructed the authorities to release the victim immediately.

The Judges declared that the case was wholly false, baseless and that it was fabricated by the police for personal gain.

The Court, therefore, while pronouncing its judgment ordered to restoration of the victim’s dignity, and to compensate him for all his losses.

Any civilized Government, more so a Member of United Nations, should have hastened to implement the judicial directive.

Sad to state, the offending officials of the state ignored the judicial verdict and deported the victim, totally deprived of all his assets, papers and records.

This superstition of a judicial decision by executive fiat is rank subversion of the rule of law.

It is in this context that the convention becomes absolutely relevant.The Government should not delay any longer the follow up steps to ensure that the Indian citizens justice long overdue. (Annexure 2)

When in so many other countries theCharters have been established in pursuance to Articles 55 and 56 of the UN Charter, India SHOULD NOT HAVE lagged behind.

When this grievance was placed before Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, he was, despite his many critical disabilities, generous enough to give useful directions.  This representation is prepared in the light of the guidelines suggested by him.

The grievances of the petitioner are intimately known to K. Sukumaran, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India, who pleaded for the petitioner in the Hon’ble Supreme Court and in the High Court of Delhi.  He was a former Judge, High Court of Kerala and Bombay.

The petitioner earnestly appeals to the Government of India to evolve an Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanism, to wipe off the tears from the eyes of many thousand overseas Indians toiling in the desert land, and their family members.

The petitioner submits hereunder the major recommendations that could be considered by the Government expeditiously and meaningfully:

  • a) Establishment of an ‘Indian Migrant Cell’.  It should have the required high status and power.  Technical experts and involvement of a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights of Migrants, the UNHCR, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) included.
  • b) Establishment of the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) and MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with regards to the Strategy Formulation and Implementation of a Mutual Reparation Mechanism Between India and the GCC countries for safeguarding the rights and dignity of NRIs and ensuring quick relief to the suffering migrants, as regards working condition, assurance for continued contacts with family and safe return to the home, without any tension, suspense or torment.
  • c) Ensuring periodic visits by representatives of the Indian Government and of the Kerala and other State Governments about the living conditions of persons confined to prisons.  That too is an incident of Human Right.
  • d) Educational arrangements to inform officials and non-officials concerned of the rights and interests of the migrants including the scope of UN Human Rights Special Procedures Mechanisms.
  • e) To ensure effective and meaningful participation of the representatives of the Government of India in the meetings of Inter-American Charter Session, European Union Charter Session and the African Union Charter Session.
  • f) Creation of a Reparation Fund on lines similar to the UN Trust Fund for Victims, for affording quickest relief as regards reparation to the victims of Human Rights Violation.

The petitioner prays that he may be afforded the facility to call on the Secretary and the Hon’ble Minister to explain the various aspects of the sufferings of the Indian migrants, with a view to make available to them the full protection of Human Rights in letter and spirit.

(Panikkaveetil K. Jabir)

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Forum submissions:

Representation for ‘Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanisms’ – Reparation Law

Representation for ‘Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanisms’ – Migrant Forum


  • The representation of Shri Jabir is very apt, requiring supports from every Overseas Indian. Among the various points raised therein, I’d rather suggest the following issues may be taken up.

    ‘Let the NRI trial prisoners to celebrate festivals with their relatives in their home land, India’ You would find them important, like those you have already highlighted. There are thousands of Indians suffering in the prisons of GCC countries, the UAE in particular. Most of them are trial prisoners whose crimes have not been proved. Until they are found guilty, they are not culprits in the eye of law. Following the Italian example, such prisoners of India should be allowed to celebrate their festivals with relatives in their home land, India. The Government of Italy was very tactful in its legal fight in India and could take two of their citizens (the two Italian marines who faced murder charges in the deaths of two fishermen of Kerala) to celebrate Christmas, and again to cast votes. As such, those Indian prisoners should also be given the opportunity to cast their votes in their respective constituencies in India. By fighting for and gaining these benefits for the NRIs, India will only be following international norms to protect its citizens, on par with that of the developed countries, especially that of Italy.

    Arun Joshi

  • I am one among the unfortunate ‘Overseas Indians’, now working in Dubai. While browsing the internet, I came across the representation of Mr. Jabir to Minister Salman Khurshid, highlighting the need for an “Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanisms”, which the Government of India has, unfortunately, never thought of. A reading of the representation and its attachments well prepared by Mr. Jabir is highly impressive. Being only one amongst the huge population of India, this gentleman has taken great pain and care to bring-out the burning problems of the migrant workers in the gulf countries before the Hon’ble Minister for External Affairs, Government of India to find a solution. At the same time, it is utter dismay that the powerful Overseas Indian Affair Ministry, specifically designated to protect the interests of the Overseas Indians, has not hitherto taken any initiative towards this critical topic. I can honestly vouch that all other countries, except India, who send their work force to the GCC countries have well set national mechanisms, one way or another, that have high quality of implementation and commitments to protect their citizens in warranting situations. I feel sad and unfortunate for having born in a country whose government is absolutely unconcerned about the welfare and the difficult situations their citizens pass through while working hard to earn their bread and to support their family members, in an autocratic country like the UAE.

    Arvind Balsekar, Dubai

  • Mr. Jabir’s representation to Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister for External Affairs explaining the various difficulties encountered by migrant workers of all strata in the Gulf Countries and pressing the need for an “Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanisms” caught by the fire of his desire to help the NRIs. I read it many times when I could get the real pictures of the sufferings of Indians at the hands of merciless and callous-minded officials of UAE. In fact we have a separate Ministry, the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs intended to take care of the welfare and to provide support to the Overseas Indians working in the Gulf countries. The Ministry has all the powers and infrastructural facilities to achieve its goals. But, unfortunately, as for the suffering lot of Gulf migrants, of which I am also a victim, in effect, the Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry is only a ‘white elephant’. Its present Minister or the officials of that Ministry, I may be pardoned for mentioned so, are rather very ineffective and unwilling to percolate the good intentions of the Judiciary of India to help those suffering NRIs at gulf in their crisis situations. No tangible results are available from the existing Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry to the suffering migrant workers in the gulf. In view of these factual situations as revealed through the representation of Mr. Jabir, it is hoped that the Government of India will not hesitate to initiate appropriate action in the matter.

    A. Hisham, Toronto

  • I had a glimpse of this representation, demanding justice to Indian citizens working abroad by establishing an “Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanism”. If Mr. Jabir was a citizen of Italy, it would not have been necessary for him to approach its Foreign Ministry, pleading for an “Italy-Gulf Reparation Mechanism”. Italy has well set laws to answer such situations. They were honest, fast and sharp in protecting two of their citizens, who shot dead two poor fishermen near Quilon a few months back. Nevertheless, the Italian Government took keen interest to rescue these culprits. Even their Foreign Minister came to Kerala, had discussions with the concerned personnel and took their two mariners who were facing trial for murder to Italy, in a chartered flight to celebrate Christmas. Government of India has to learn a lot from this incident.

    Sruthi, Thevara, Cochin

  • I read the representation. It is good enough. Ours is a world renowned democratic country with updated infrastructure to answer every situation. Then why an institution like Overseas Indians’ Legal Cell had to take up this vital issue before the Minister for External Affairs. I have the answers too. Mr. Jabir (who had bitter experiences by himself while working in Abu Dhabi, had to represent to the External Affairs Minister because so far India do not have an effective “Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanisms”. The concerned Ministers or Ministries or the Embassy Officials have not gone deep into the sufferings and about a state of lawlessness in the treatment of migrant workers at the host countries. The “Ministry for Overseas Indian Affairs” is designated for looking after the welfare of NRIs seldom come to help the needy in the needed hour. Our Ministers often make diplomatic visits to foreign countries, the Gulf countries included. But have they ever visited the cattle-shed-like places where the construction workers are accommodated, their long hours of work under great compulsion by their employers, pending or non-payment of wages, medical facilities available to them etc., No chance. They end up their visits with so-called meetings and conferences with higher officials and return home. The “Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanisms” when set in motion, I am sure, will help solve many problems of the Indian migrants, especially those in the GCC countries.

    Sudhir Krishna, Dubai

  • 03 Mar, 2013
    The representation of Mr. Jabir is thought-provoking. I salute this crusader. When the most powerful Government of India’s machinery capable of formulating appropriate legal instruments to protect its citizens is unconcerned or inactive in providing required diplomatic or legal support to the NRIs, it is natural that someone will come forward with a genuine desire to trigger the issue. The contents of the representation provide a real picture of a nightmare and more. Let us hope the “Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanisms” will provide a protective umbrella to the overseas Indian and NRIs.

    Prasada K. Bijapur, Bangalore

  • 02 Mar, 2013
    I have gone through the representation mooted by Mr. Panikkaveetil K. Jabir of Overseas Indians’ Legal Cell to the Union Government of India for an “Indo-Gulf Reparation Mechanisms”. I thank him for his sincere endeavors.
    I am an Indian, working in the UAE for the past 22 years where ‘law of the land’ in practice is not what is in the official script but it is what the autocrat authorities (of lower or higher strata) decide. Migrants from third world are treated inhumanly and the local Emiratis are given greater considerations in every field and in every situation, especially when migrants are involved in legal issues. Fabricating cases, false charge sheets, illegal arrest without even the consent of higher authorities, imprisonment and inhuman torture are very common in this land. Support is not at all available from my home country India to tide over such situations. Ministers and other officials designated to help migrants are there in India. But they do not bother to study or understand the actual practical problems of Overseas Indians or provide support of any kind. In the backdrop of the representation, I hope the Government of India will not hesitate to study the points mentioned by Mr. Jabir and would initiate appropriate action for an effective legal mechanism.

    Anwar Hashim, UAE

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