UAE: Jayaram Shetty A Free Bird Today after A Year – Out from Illegal Confinement in Saudi Jail

UAE: Jayaram Shetty, an Indian national from Neermarga, Mangalore, working as a Supervisor for Cold Store Trading Company in Dammam has been in the Jail in Dammam, Saudi Arabia for more than one year convicted for the crime not done by him. He was falsely implicated in theft case by the culprits who have done it, forcibly by making him sign on a blank paper and forging the document as if he has accepted this crime.

Shetty a native of Mangalore is a married man for 8 years and has a three year old daughter and wife living back in Mangalore. He is the sole bread earner of the family and serving in this company for more than 6 years in Dammam with excellent track records. His customers and his colleagues always praise him for his hardworking, sincerity and simplicity. In 2014 it was learnt that there was a theft case of 2 containers of Olive Oil in a far away yard of the company where Shetty worked as the Supervisor.



As told by Shetty, his work schedule begins from morning 8 AM till 6 PM and the said act of theft was not committed within the purview of the yard in which he was supervising. As per records maintained by the Company itself there is no nexus between his duty and the alleged theft of containers as the same is committed far away from his supervisory yard. His responsibility to take care of the materials would be limited to within the yard and once the goods contained in the container leaves the said yard, the responsibility of the container shifts to the person who carry the said containers to its destination. However he was falsely and frivolously accused by the Company in the theft case, which was committed by unknown persons.

Despite the fact known to the Company that Shetty was not real culprit in the case, still he was accused and handed over to the police. When the real culprits were not found, the Company made false allegations against Shetty and trapped him into legal battle. He was made redundant by the Company on August 6, 2014 and was forced to remain in the remote house confinement for more than 2 months where he was tortured continuously. He then was coerced to admit and sign on the Arabic paper, which he could not read. It was later found out that they have written in Arabic that Shetty has committed the crime and admitted that he has sold the goods for profit to an unknown company.

Based on the forged signature taken on the documents, on October 17, 2014, Shetty was handed over to Dammam Police. Since then, he has been in the jail and has faced the trials in Dammam Court. Again based on the documents produced to the Court, the judgment was announced and Shetty was sentenced for 8 months’ imprisonment and flogging (lashes) for every 15 days. With all pain, Jayaram Shetty had to bear the sentence pronounced by the Court which got executed immediately. The tenure of imprisonment got over by August 2015 but Shetty was still not released from the jail as he was kept imprisoned for more than a year illegally, despite of repeated pleas to release. Jayaram Shetty’s wife Geetha and brother in law Hari Alva pleaded the Indian Mission in Dammam to look into the matter but in vain.

Later through some reference, on August 17, 2015 Hari Alva, brother-in-law of Jayaram contacted Social Worker Shodhan Prasad in Dubai who in an earlier instance had helped one Mangalorean in another similar case get released. Shodhan later took up the matter actively with his some of his known associates in MASA & KWAR in Saudi Arabia who promised to help in this case. Later Shodhan also met and requested Dr B R Shetty in Abu Dhabi to help. Continuing the fight Shodhan contacted his friend Social Worker, Advocate P A Hameed who is based in Riyadh and he took up Jayaram Shetty’s case seriously and sent a plea to Bader Al-Qassim who is the Chief of the Human Rights Commission in Dammam registering the case for a fair judgment. While the study of his case was going on in HRC he additionally arranged to send a personal plea from Geetha Jayaram Shetty to His Royal Highness Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Humane & Philanthropic Prince of Saudi Royal Family. However the case did not get a quick response and was moving slow without any result.

Shodhan did not give up the fight and was constantly in touch with Jayaram Shetty through mobile contact in jail and consoling him daily. Luckily there was a sharing mobile facility in there wherein they get daily one or two chances to talk. Shodhan then on December 9, 2015 sent a request letter to Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister copying to all the Junior Ministers in the Portfolio which got an immediate response the very next day itself which showed positive signs. External Affairs Ministry replied and gave a reference number for the grievance and asked to log on to Madad portal with the said reference which he did and was following up with the case. It was learnt that Indian Embassy was not taking the matter serious until then and later Shodhan contacted the Indian Embassy in Riyadh who said they are aware of the case and will do the needful. They also informed that the owner of the company where Jayaram worked had put another false case of money theft against him and because of this he is still kept in jail awaiting hearing of the case.

Later with the follow-up it was learnt that the Jayaram’s Employer was not responding to the case hearing probably knowing that the matter is getting serious through Diplomatic mission, hence was not attending the case. Since he did not appear for many hearing, the court black listed him and the case got closed. Taking opportunity of this and pleading with the Jail Authorities of Jayaram’s innocence, the Jail Captain agreed to release Jayaram provided he gets his Passport or Exit Pass from Indian Embassy immediately.

Shodhan contacted the Embassy again and requested them to issue a Exit Pass in the absence of the Passport which was held by the Employer who was absconding. After constant follow-up the Embassy arranged to deliver the Exit Pass to Jail Authorities last week who then asked Jayaram to arrange money for his Air Ticket. On his request Shodhan with the help of some Members of Namma Tuluveru UAE, collected cash and arranged to send the same to the Jail Authorities who acknowledged receipt and arranged one way air ticket back to Mangalore.

Jayaram reached Mumbai this morning and is now a free bird and can join his family after a period of more than a year struggling in the Jail. He will have to forget this bad experience and start a new life. Probably later someone may help him with a new job elsewhere so that he can support his family and lead a new life. It is learnt that Jayaram got few contribution from MASA on his return but his dues with the Employer is still pending which has to be taken up later.


  1. “…was sentenced for 8 months’ imprisonment and flogging (lashes) for every 15 days” – Report

    I honestly don’t know why and how millions of immigrants from Indian subcontinent voluntarily travel to this country and risk their lives!! Saudi Arabia is probably one of the worst places on this planet to live. It is essentially a one large, open prison for immigrants!!! I don’t think it is worth taking the risk!! It’s beyond me how centuries old mindset and laws are still practiced in 21st century!!!

    I’m glad that Mr.Shetty is safely back in India. It will probably take him several years to recover from this mental trauma. On a different note, I’m also glad that our Praveena Pinto is back in India after several years in Saudi. We don’t want anyone to go thru this hell on earth!!

    • On a different note, I’m also glad that our Praveena Pinto is back in India after several years in Saudi. – Murudeshwara Rampai

      Lol! Keep hallucinating ya Rampai. That’s what you do best! 🙂

    • “Saudi Arabia is probably one of the worst places on this planet to live,” by Original R. Pai.

      Mr. Pai,

      What you said about Saudi Arabia is perfectly true. There is no human rights, no well-codified laws (but justice is dispensed as per the Sharia, which cannot be considered as body of laws. Koran came much after the Torah and Bible). Therefore, I am told, what is in these holy books contain are also found in Koran, as these were older religions. Koran came into existence in 632 A.D.

      Unlike Saudi Arabia and other fundmental and highly conservative countries and radical groups, both Jews and Christians do not have anything like the Sharia, because they find these things are not practicable, unimagineable and out-of-date and not in sync in modern era and have developed modern laws to fight offences, crimes and other crimes of serious proportions. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Israel whom it considers as its enemy, has a live-and-let-live attitude to minorities and during the last Ramadhan the Israeli President threw Ifthar for his guests, which obviously had to be Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. Can you think Saudis being liberal, even to a minimal extent, to people of other faiths? The famous doctor and the author of “In a land of invisible women: A doctor’s journey in Saudi Kingdom,” Dr. Qanta A. Ahmed. has admitted that there are mosques for Sunnis, Shias, Ahmadis, besides Churches and I would not be surprised if there are Hindu temples too, considering that there are many Indians who have gone to do PhD and other studies in water conservation and solar energy. Can you imagine these freedoms in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan (the land of the pure or, shall we say, the land of the impure).

      I personally feel that for any crimes, if people have to spend time in jails – especially the ones lacking skills – they should be taught skills, so that when they are released they can take up jobs and earn livelihood.

    • Original R. Pai. I full agree with you. I did have a worst experience couple of years back while driving towards Jeddah port. I made a stop over to buy some water, where the shop was at least 300 mtrs away from the main road. While entered into the shop, the cop communicated with me in Arabic and just bcos I was not able to speak arabic I got harassed. Luckly I had a good cab driver who was an indian and he was able to communicate further. As per him, they wanted money from me since I am on business trip to Saudi.

      The crime rate is very high in Saudi and the cops too are involved with the culprits. We say there is no corruption, but it is upto the core and more than Egypt I must say. As you said, they shall never get civilised even after 500 or more years to come.

  2. What is mentioned in about Mr. Jayaram Shetty has to be true.

    Saudi Arabia has idiotic police and judiciary, the latter follows the Sharia and the labour laws are, frankhly speaking, farcical. Further, the employers are supreme in Saudi Arabia and if they were to go to the police and make accusations of theft against their employees, then the police will handcuff and put them behind the bars. In an efficient system, the police officers cross-examine the parties’ complaints, witnesses, colleagues and also the parties that are accused of offences and crimes and hunt for documentary or concrete evidence. Only after thorough investigation, the police arrive at who are at fault and who are right, who are lying or concealing facts, who are the culprits and only then they come to a conclusion and file the charge sheet or set the parties that are accused of crime free. Sometimes, such investigations can take weeks or months and, therefore, the prosecution requests the courts for police custody and also extensions.

    Police in Saudi Arabia are comparable with feudal lords’ hatchet men and courts carry out employers’, powerful people’s or royal family members’ biddings. Everybody works in Saudi Arabia for money and not because that place is a paradise or liberal or Saudis are friendly people or the country is scenic. Scenic! My foot! In fact, most of Saudi Arabia is a vast unending desert with sand dunes rising upto 25-30′. Saudi Arabia. like Australia, has largely an urban population with 90% of the people living in the few cities and towns in that barren landscape, albeit sitting on vast reservoir of crude. If one were to pull out good, large scale maps and look at Australia and Saudi Arabia, one would realise except for certain populated areas, most of the land is not populated at all and probably in many places, man has not put his foot there.

    In comparison, Oman and Bahrain are paradises. In fact, the fortunate few employees working in large American and other multi-national companies and having both their offices and residences are fortunate lot, because they can watch movies, have privacy and enjoy other things of life which are considered normal in modern age, without the Muttawas (religious police prowling upon them or breathing down their necks.

    One fanatical element writing a lot on this column will accuse me of speaking bad about the country where I spent a couple of contracts.

    • In an efficient system, the police officers cross-examine the parties’ complaints, witnesses, colleagues and also the parties that are accused of offences and crimes and hunt for documentary or concrete evidence. – Mr. Nelson Lewis

      Pyarelal Murudeshwara Rampu’ji & Sriman Lewis’ji

      By “efficient system”, I guess you’ll mean the USA. Well, take a look:

      On the left hand side, check out the list under ‘Chronology of Coverage’. if you need more cases, click on the ‘Show More’ and VIOLA!

      And you guys thought that Uncle ‘Soma’ – the man who wields a ‘Beeeeeeeeg Stickkkkkka’ (Pyarelal Rampu’s exact words) is an Altar boy when compared to Saudi, eh? 🙂

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