Saudi Arabia may amend its blood money law  

Proposes equal blood money for men and women, Muslims and non-Muslims

May 23, 2022 08:34 pm | Updated May 24, 2022 10:52 am IST - KOZHIKODE

Photo for representation.

Photo for representation.

Bringing some radical changes in its laws, Saudi Arabia is planning to amend its draft Civil Transactions Law by proposing equal blood money for men and women as well as Muslims and non-Muslims in the kingdom.

Sources, quoting the Saudi Gazette, said that a section of the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia (Shura Council), a formal advisory body, has recommended ending the discriminatory practice in the payment of blood money to a victim. Almost all countries following the Sharia legal system in some form or the other use payment of blood money or Diya in Islamic law.

Usually, the indemnity is paid to a victim or to the family of the victim to compensate for deaths, unnatural deaths and accidents. Different nations follow different compensation methods for men and women and Muslims and non-Muslims.

However, a lot of discrepancies were found in blood money payments between Saudi Arabia and other Arab and Islamic countries. The amendment would further improve the position of Saudi Arabia in general, and the Saudi judiciary in particular, at the international level, and in the relevant United Nations indices, the sources said.

Blood money payments involving Non-Resident Indians, especially from Kerala, were in news in recent times in Gulf countries. Last year, NRI businessman and LuLu Group chairman M.A. Yusuffali helped secure the release of Becks Krishnan, a driver from Irinjalakuda, who was sentenced to death and jailed for nine years in Abu Dhabi for killing a Sudanese boy in a car accident, by paying blood money amounting to ₹1 crore.

The family of an Indian nurse, Nimisha Priya of Palakkad, has launched a fundraising attempt to raise a sum of ₹1.5 crore in the hope of saving her life after a court in Yemen upheld her death sentence for murdering a Yemeni national.

The sources said the proposed Civil Transactions Law was one of the four key legislation announcements by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia in February 2021.

The kingdom has already approved the Personal Status Law, which regulates issues related to engagement, marriage, divorce and children’s custody, and the Law of Evidence. The Penal Code for Discretionary Sanctions was still pending, said the sources.

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