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|07 January, 2019

More law firms welcome to help vulnerable expats: Indian envoy

The mission is still streamlining process and welcoming tenders from more legal entities

The Indian Consulate in Dubai is seeking applications from more law firms to help resolve legal battles of distressed Indian expatriates. Currently, the diplomatic mission has engaged eight law firms to fight cases of expats in distress for a budget of $10,000 (Dh36,735) per case. However, more are welcome to take part in the initiative, said the Consul-General of India to Dubai, Vipul.

Since the appointment of the firms, a total of three to four legal cases of distressed individuals have been resolved. The consul-general said that though the law firms were engaged months ago, the mission is still streamlining the process and welcoming tenders from more legal entities.

The mission is seeking law firms that keep the community's welfare in mind and, hopefully, pro-bono services, since the primary recipients of this service are blue-collar workers and distressed non-resident Indian (NRI) women, explained Vipul.

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"In this case, we cannot hire the service of firms that charge exorbitant rates because the people we're helping fall under the 'most vulnerable' category," he explained. "Law firms must understand that this is not a purely commercial initiative. It has a huge human interest angle," said Vipul.

"It would've been ideal if we were to have a rate contract, however, legal issues suffered by people have their own individual set of complications. It is difficult to pin down one price to battle all kinds of legal issues," added Vipul.

The mission launched the initiative in early 2018. "We sent out a notice saying we are looking for law firms. Since there weren't too many responses, we began our own outreach," he added.

The service is extended to labour cases, distressed NRI women, Indian nationals who are falsely implicated, stranded seamen, marital disputes, women and child issues, and students facing legal troubles.

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