Month: August 2019

Bounced Cheque Dubai UAE Law

Is Bounced Cheque a Criminal Case in UAE?

A bounced cheque which is also known as a dishonored or returned cheque is a non-sufficient funds cheque that cannot be processed because of the following reasons:

  • There is not enough money in the account of the drawer on the date the cheque was issued.
  • The bank account had closed prior to the encashment of the cheque.
  • There is a technical problem such as a mismatch in the signature on the cheque and the signature in the bank’s records.
  • The account holder instructed the bank to hold the payment.

The UAE has its set of repercussions for cases of bounced cheques and criminal charges are strictly imposed on people who present a cheque with insufficient funds or with full knowledge that it will not be cleared.

According to Article 632 of the Commercial Transaction Law, in the event of a default in the processing of a cheque due to any of the reasons stated above, a period of 3 days may be given to the cheque bearer to contact the drawer for the possibility of funding the cheque. Should the drawer be unavailable for communication within the given period, the drawee or cheque bearer has the right to take legal action. In such a case, the drawee can file a criminal complaint about the bounced cheque along with a civil case for the recovery of the cheque amount. The civil case will provide the drawee with an assurance that the amount denied will be recovered.

The process of filing a legal case against a drawer can go through several stages and the ramifications of a dishonored cheque may vary depending on the response of the drawer and the evidences provided.

  1. Police Authority

A complaint on a bounced cheque may be initially reported to the nearest police station located in the concerned Emirate. This requires presentation of relevant documents and evidences. The police authority will automatically issue a warrant of arrest against the drawer. The drawer can respond by settling the case or submitting his passport so that further time may be given for him to provide the amount required. The warrant can be withdrawn after the drawer clears the matter or serves the jail time prescribed.

  1. Public Prosecutor

The case will be forwarded to the Public Prosecutor for further investigations if the parties fail to resolve it at the police station. A report shall be prepared based on the proof provided. To give security to the drawee, the prosecutors can either hold the passport of the drawer or the guarantor or require a payment corresponding to the estimated amount of the cheque. The drawer will be kept in custody until the issuance of the final decision if the bail is denied.

  1. Criminal Court

At the criminal court, the drawer may be convicted based on the evidence provided by the drawee. According to Article 401 of the UAE Penal Code, the punishment can either be a fine ranging from AED 1,000 up to AED 30,000 or imprisonment from one to three years.

There have been recent advancements where the government has stipulated laws to address small claims or petty offences. Such laws, enacted through the “One-day court”, allow small cases of bounced cheques to be given a decision within 24 hours and resolved with a detention sentence. This is now in force in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah and the effectivity in reducing the number of cases processed at the Criminal Courts has been observed. As a result, serious cases have better chances of getting resolved faster as the Criminal Courts now have enough time to deal with them.

In addition, Dubai has come up with a law on “Criminal Orders”, which allows the Public Prosecution to resolve “simple violations” with monetary penalty. The matter will only be transferred to Criminal Courts if there is an objection to the sentence issued and the objection is documented within 7 days of the issuance of the verdict.

An issued cheque worth AED 200,000 and below is classified as a simple offence and will be given a penalty of about AED 5,000 – AED 10,000. This is not punishable by imprisonment in Dubai. Thus, lawyers often advise their clients that when receiving cheques, it would be better if they require an amount higher than AED 200,000 so that in the event of a dishonored cheque, the drawer will be bound to face imprisonment. With such possible punishment, there will be a lesser chance of the drawer not funding the cheque.

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filing theft case in dubai uae

Filing a Theft case in UAE

How to file a Theft case if you are in Dubai UAE?

Theft is a type of crime that is committed when a movable property is taken permanently from its owner without his or her consent. This involves the acts of stealing a movable property, obtaining goods through pretentious methods or accepting property that was stolen by another person.

According to Federal Law Number FEDERAL LAW NO. 3 of 1987, anything that can be taken under custody is considered a property. Hence, stealing goods from shops, breaking into private places to steal items or embezzling money are all considered theft.

If theft is committed within the UAE, the provisions of Federal Law Number 3 of 1987 of the UAE Penal Code are applied.

Types of Theft

The two categories of theft defined in the UAE Penal Code are aggravated theft and simple theft.

Theft crimes are classified as either “aggravated” or “simple” based on two main factors namely mental intent (“mens rea”) and criminal act (“actus reus”). However, the involuntary possession of stolen goods can also be considered as theft.

Articles 381 to 398 of the Penal Code provide the details of the punishments regarding these types of theft.

Simple theft is a misdemeanor that can lead to a minimum of 1 year imprisonment and/or monetary penalty. It is often categorized based on the place where the crime is committed, how the crime was done or who the victim is. Some cases of simple theft are those committed…

  1. In one of the worship places.
  2. In one of the inhabited or habitable places or its annexes.
  3. In one of the transport means or in a station, harbor or airport.
  4. Through climbing over the fence, breaking from outside, use of duplicated or genuine keys without their owners’ consent.
  5. By a person impersonating a public attribute or pretending that he is performing or in charge of a public service.
  6. By two or more people.
  7. On a wounded person during wartime.
  8. On property owned by a public authority and employees of ministries and government departments.
  9. On cattle or on carrying or riding animals.

 

Other circumstances of simple theft not falling under the above categories include:

  1. Interruption of information transmission or provision of any government service such as the misuse of telecommunication services or the removal of the power source of any device used to carry out such services.
  2. Use of vehicles such as cars or scooters belonging to another person without his or her consent. The corresponding punishment for such act would be a minimum of one year jail time and a fine not exceeding AED 10,000.
  3. Coercing a person to sign or cancel an agreement or a deed.

Aggravated Theft

Aggravated theft involves the use of deadly weapons and refers to acts that lead to felony such as murder.

For example, a person commits aggravated theft when he or she uses weapons and threats to force another person to surrender his or her property. Other cases are when a person falsely presents himself or herself as a public service agent, illegally enters a private property or engages in any other unlawful method to obtain a property belonging to another person.

Perpetrators of aggravated theft will face imprisonment and the duration varies depending on the type of crime committed. Some examples are given below:

  1. Maximum of 15 years imprisonment:
    • Use of weapons resulting in an injured victim
  2. 2 to 7 years or life imprisonment
    • Theft committed during the night
    • Use of arms
  3. 5 to 7 years imprisonment
    • Theft done by an employee during the term of his or her employment
  4. Life imprisonment
    • Involvement of 2 or more individuals

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B2B Dispute dubai UAE

How to resolve Business to Business Dispute in Dubai UAE. Know the Legal Process

How to resolve Business to Business Dispute in Dubai UAE. Know the Legal Process

The Business Protection Department (BPD) is a newly established branch of the Department of Economic Development (DED) of Dubai, dedicated to resolving commercial disputes in the UAE. It was set up in answer to the growing need for a suitable method of assisting businesses with facing commercial issues raised against each other and arriving at an amicable settlement. This is a concern that cannot be overlooked as commercial disputes do not fall within the purview of the present dispute resolution authority, the Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Department (CCCPD), resulting in the aggravation of supposedly trivial matters arising among businesses.

The responsibilities of BPD are the provision of a “National Dispute Settlement Service” in Dubai and the dissemination of educational information to businesses.

As a dispute settlement service provider, BPD attends to the complaints of entities holding a Dubai business license. As an educational authority, BPD organizes workshops and conferences and even distribute literature to increase business literacy among Dubai-licensed entities.

BPD’s Jurisdiction

Being a sub-department of CCCPD, the jurisdiction of BPD is limited to disputes between businesses licensed in Dubai and having a minimum capital of AED 200,000/- and its only objective is to assist the Dubai Courts. Thus, it is considered as an Informal Resolution Body.

In line with this, BPD can mediate between international traders if they have a DED license or branch license in Dubai UAE.

Furthermore, the disputes addressed by BPD are only those relating to commercial concerns. Hence, disputes on insurance, banking, real estate or labor matters are not included.

Lastly, BPD does not serve as a tribunal as it was established to mediate between businesses licensed in Dubai in order for them arrive at acceptable agreements.

Procedure for Filing Complaint

There are three ways companies with a DED license or their representatives can file a complaint with BPD – through email, through calls or manually by visiting a DED branch of CCCPD. Supporting documents must be provided and a non-refundable fee of AED 2,020/- must be paid.

Once the complaint received, it will be reviewed by BPD lawyers who will determine if the case filed is within the jurisdiction of BPD. BPD lawyers will also assess if the dispute can be resolved by BPD acting as a mediator or referring the matter to another suitable authority.

Should the complaint be found acceptable by BPD arbitrators, the concerned persons will be contacted for the initial conference which can be conducted through phone call or a personal meeting. It is important to note that the parties are not required to be present in Dubai at the time of the Mediation Conference.

The processing time for case resolution is ten business working days, but there could be an extension based on the requirements and exigencies of the case.

Judgments and Appeals

Decisions made by BPD are final and cannot be revoked or amended by filing an appeal. However, the parties are not restricted by these decisions as they are discretionary and not binding. Both parties have the option to bring the matter before relevant judicial authorities.

The method of resolving disputes applied by BPD can be considered as necessary approach rather than a formal procedure. Reliable technical knowledge and an adept understanding of the disputes are the basis of the decisions passed. Furthermore, since the time of its establishment, BPD has successfully handled cases, but precedents are not involved in the decisions passed.

For businesses engaged in commercial activities, DED still remains as the main licensing authority in Dubai. BPD is a sub-department with the capacity to block or temporarily suspend the license of entities registered with DED. BPD also has the authority to impose penalties including fines on parties should they fail to attend a mediation conference or comply with the decisions passed by BPD after their acceptance of the mediation process.

Businesses can seek the help and advice of lawyers in Dubai UAE for a better understanding of the roles, jurisdiction and processes of BPD.