Secure Saudi court’s order on Indian national's conviction, Karnataka HC tells Union govt, flags slow response

06:33 PM Aug 08, 2023 | PTI |

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday directed the Union government to secure a copy of the judgment by a Saudi Arabian court convicting Indian national Shailesh Kumar.


Justice Krishna S Dixit, who is hearing a petition by Kumar’s wife alleging that the local police’s delay in investigation led to her husband’s conviction in a foreign court, said that securing the judgment copy will be helpful in submitting a clemency petition.

Upset with the slow response to its earlier directions, the HC said, “When a citizen of this country is suffering abroad, the authorities have to show due seriousness and secure justice for him.” Shahilesh, who hails from Mangaluru, has been convicted and imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, where he was working, for alleged derogatory posts against the King of Saudi Arabia and Islam.

His wife Kavitha has petitioned the high court, claiming that the posts dated 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. On Tuesday, Justice Krishna S Dixit ordered the Union government “to secure a copy of the conviction, and order confirming the conviction order at the earliest and place the same on record before this proceeding.” The court also directed that the details of procedure followed to file a clemency petition before the King of Saudi Arabia be placed before the court.


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. He was arrested in Saudi Arabia, tried and sentenced to 15 years in jail.

His wife filed a 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 and has been in prison ever since.


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