Indian in Saudi jail: Karnataka HC seeks reply from Union govt

 The High Court of Karnataka has sought reply from the Union Government regarding legal help to the Indian national who has been jailed in Saudi Arabia.

The court on Monday asked the Centre whether the jailed person will be provided with an opportunity to appoint the advocate of his choice in an appeal and would the government help him in this regard.

It has also sought information on the jurisdiction of the local laws in Saudi Arabia and whether the investigation report from India can be submitted in courts there.

The court further asked whether an Indian diplomatic request to postpone the hearing of the appeal in Saudi Arabia till the police investigation in India is completed can be made.

The hearing of the petition was adjourned to August 8.

Shahilesh, from Mangaluru has been convicted and imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, where he was working, for alleged derogatory posts against the king and Islam.

His wife, Kavitha, has petitioned the High Court claiming that the posts, made on February 12 and 13, 2020, were made from a fake profile on Facebook and the local police had failed to provide the proof to Saudi Arabian authorities.

The local police had blamed Facebook for not cooperating with the investigation.

Shailesh had put up a post in support of the Indian Government’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizenship (NRC). He allegedly received a threat call and deleted his account. Subsequently, a derogatory post against the Saudi king and Islam was uploaded.

Shailesh was arrested in Saudi Arabia, tried and sentenced to 15 years in jail. His wife lodged the police complaint in India alleging that her husband had informed her that a fake Facebook account was used to upload the post in his name.

He was arrested and jailed on February 23, 2020.

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