An elderly man is desperately waiting for the day he can return to his home country after being unable to do so for the last eight years ever since he consented to attend legal proceedings on behalf of the company he used to work for in a case relating to the death of a worker and a court ruling fixed the legal liability on him.
Sixty-one-year-old A.S. Sankaranaryanan, who is from India and used to work as an office supervisor with an electromechanical company, told Gulf News that his troubles began after he submitted his passport in a Sharjah court to stand in on behalf of his former employer in a case pertaining to the death of a Bangladeshi worker.
The worker, he said, died of an electrical shock in a washroom at his labour accommodation in 2009. “I had no direct connection with the case. He worked for our sister concern. As the case progressed in the court, my employer requested me to attend court proceedings on his behalf as he had to travel frequently. Being an obedient employee having a good relationship with the owner, and in good faith, I submitted my passport in the court allowing him to retrieve his passport,” Sankaranarayanan claims.
“To my bad luck, the court verdict that came in 2010 said that I am responsible for paying the blood money of Dh200,000 to the worker’s family.”
An appeal in the lower court was turned down, following which no appeal was submitted in the Federal Supreme Court, he said.
“My employer had said he would pay it. But, unfortunately, he died of cardiac arrest while in India in 2013.”
Sankaranarayanan said the employer’s son, who took over the company subsequently, however, refused to take responsibility for the liability fixed by the court in the case. “In spite of being aware of all the situations, he was wanting me to shoulder this payment. I am shattered as I don’t have the capability to pay such a huge sum.”
He said the company allowed him to work for it until a year ago. “They are yet to pay me two years’ end-of-service benefits. Now I am jobless and have no income to survive. I am living out of the mercy of some of my well-wishers.”
He said his family was also going through tremendous mental trauma.
“I have not seen my wife and 17-year-old daughter for eight years. I lost two of my sisters and two brothers-in-law during this period. I could not go home on several occasions when my presence was really needed. My wife is also experienceing severe health problems along with her 81-year-old mother.”
When contacted, his current employer said he cannot comment about the case since it had happened during his dad’s tenure. He referred Gulf News to his PRO, who repeated the same. “We are not sure if he was given the money earlier or not. The company was kind enough to let him keep his job and paid him Dh4,500 salary. If he has any issues, he can take it up legally,” the PRO said.