A free legal aid cell has been established in Abu Dhabi to assist non-resident Malayalis, a top official has told Khaleej Times. Norka Roots, the public sector undertaking of the department of non-resident Keralites affairs (Norka), has appointed a legal aid consultant in Abu Dhabi to provide Malayalis with legal assistance.
Harikrishnan Namboothiri K, chief executive officer of Norka, said similar consultants will also be appointed in Dubai and Sharjah in the coming weeks. "In its first phase, Norka Roots appointed legal consultants in Kuwait and Oman. The facility has been expanded to Abu Dhabi and Bahrain as well."
The cell will offer free assistance for employment issues, filing cases, compensation and mercy petitions. "The cell will also provide translation services to expatriate Malayalis," he added.
The project also aims to provide legal aid to expats jailed for minor offences. Through this project, a person in distress or his immediate relatives or friends who hold valid documents can approach the cell for legal aid. The cell would also hold legal awareness programmes in association with various Malayali associations.
Namboothiri said: "Those who require the free legal advice will have to fill a form available on the Norka Roots website. The applicant needs to furnish certain mandatory details that will be cross-checked for genuineness." The application will then be forwarded to the local legal consultant, who will then provide further assistance.
"We need to ensure that the issue submitted falls under the Pravasi Legal Aid Cell (PLAC) scheme," Namboothiri added. The scheme was launched primarily to provide timely assistance, legal consultation, and bridge the language barriers non-resident Malayalis may have been facing in this regard. "The scheme will also communicate with distressed families."
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