Blood money to the tune of Rs 1 crore was offered in a Dubai court on Thursday to save the 17 Indians serving sentence for murdering a Pakistani following which the case has been adjourned till June 16.

Local businessman, S.P. Singh Oberoi, who is founder president of Indian Punjabi Society, told PTI that he made the offer of Rs 1 crore in Pakistani currency, in the presence of the judges, Indian convicts and the media.

On March 28, 2010, the Sharjah Court of First Instance pronounced the death sentence on 17 Indians who were accused of killing a Pakistani national in January 2009.

The Government of India hired a law firm Mohammad Salman Advocates and Legal Consultants to defend the accused. Thursday’s hearing was the 13th in the case.

“When the attorney (Ramzan) representing the victim (Misri Nazir Khan) refused to acknowledge that we have made an offer before today’s hearing, I offered a sum of 1 crore Pakistani rupees (over USD 120,000) to settle the matter,” Mr. Oberoi told PTI.

According to him, individuals from Indian and Pakistani consulates in Dubai and members of the media were present in the court when the offer was made.

Bindu Suresh Chettur, one of the lawyers representing the case confirmed that the offer was made.

“We wanted to convince the court that we are abiding by the procedures and are pursuing the matter with Ramzan. Now they have to decide before June 16 whether they are accepting this offer,” she told PTI.

A statement from Indian consulate in Dubai said that safeguarding the interests of the 17 accused remains the paramount concern of the Government of India.

“We are also fully cognizant of the options available to the accused within UAE’s system of jurisprudence,” the statement said.

A section of the Indian community is following this case with a keen interest and is in touch with the Consulate in anticipation of an early resolution of this case.

The defence lawyers will continue defending the Indian nationals in Court, pending any mutually acceptable understanding with the family of the deceased and acceptable to the Court.

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