Chandigarh: A local NGO, which had pleaded the case of 17 Indians on a death row in the UAE for killing a Pakistani man, today opposed settlement through blood money, saying those sentenced were innocent and their offence was yet to be proved.
"We are opposed to it (paying blood money under a settlement) as the Indians were not the accused. Their offence has not been proved," chairman of Lawyers for Human Rights
International (LFHRI) Navkiran Singh told a news agency here.
He said that a brother of the deceased Pakistani national Misri Nazir Khan had told the court that he had not seen any of the 17 Indians, 16 from Punjab and one from
Haryana, sentenced for the crime.
"The case should be fought at the legal level," he said, adding it was the duty of the prosecution to prove the charges against those who have been chargesheeted. The
talk of blood money was started by some non-legal agents in the UAE, he said.
Singh said that he and another local lawyer had been to Dubai on three hearings earlier, but could not go for the hearing held yesterday as the NGO was short of funds.
"We can give time, but are not in a position to spare money," he said.
Singh said that like the 17 Indians, there were still many others from the country who were languishing in prisons in UAE. "We are taking up their cases also," he added.
The 17 Indians were awarded death in March this year by a Sharjah court which found them guilty for the murder of a Misri Nazir Khan, a Pakistani national, near a Sharjah labour camp over a bootlegging dispute in January 2009.
The convicted Indians spurned a proposal to settle the case by paying blood compensation to the family of the Pakistani man, who was hacked to death in Sharjah in a brawl to sell illicit liquor.
The court has fixed February 17 as the next date for hearing during which more witnesses have been asked to be present.