Thanks to the mounting recessionary pressure, economic offenses are on the rise with both civil and criminal courts hearing the cases, lawyers said here yesterday.
Banks are forwarding more and more consumer loan default cases to the courts, but a prominent lawyer said the judiciary did not easily send a personal loan defaulter to jail. There are many cases of expatriates, especially, having lost jobs and unable to pay off outstanding bank loans.
A large number of these cases have been referred to the court. But, according to lawyer Waleed Abu Nida, the court trying such cases gives long grace periods to defaulters enabling them to look for all options to clear a debt.
“Actually, for a defaulter to be jailed for his inability to pay off a loan, a bank has to file another case,” Abu Nida said. And, then too, sentencing is not so easy because the court assess a defaulter’s assets and later looks at the possibility of their liquidation, so the loan can be paid back.
According to lawyer Mohsin Thiyab Al Suwaidi, the nature of economic offenses depends on the overall socio-economic environment. “In an environment of prosperity, for example, the economic crimes committed are different than those committed during recessionary times,” he said.
There has been a spurt in the cases involving bounced cheques and all types of loan defaults and they include credit card repayments as well, Al Suwaidi said. Disputes involving house rents were also on the rise.
Yet another important development post-recession, according to Abu Nida, has been that worker-employer disputes over payments, especially allowances and perks, have risen.
“Workers are increasingly insisting on more perks since these are economically difficult times,” he said. But cases of traffic rule violations continue to be the largest in number heard by the local courts, said Abu Nida. “I think there hasn’t been any decrease in road accident-related cases.”
Follow us on our social media channels: