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Brothers Manpreet and Pawandeep finally back in Australia after a '10 month ordeal'

Brothers Manpreet and Pawandeep Singh Sabharwal Source: Supplied

A court in Dubai has dismissed the case against Australian nationals Manpreet Singh Sabharwal and his brother, revoking the red corner notice issued against them.

The brothers were arrested in Dubai in February this year, after India issued an Interpol warrant against them over criminal cases of domestic violence, including demanding a dowry and attempt to murder filed by Manpreet’s former wife in India.

Documentation from the UAE court says that the Indian government wanted UAE to extradite the brothers to India, for "initiation of murder and breach of honesty."

Talking to SBS Punjabi today, Manpreet Singh Sabharwal said, “The whole case was fake and we were innocent. Everything was based on a false and fabricated FIR (first information report).” 

“UAE government arrested us because of the red corner notice issued against us by India. They had to act on the report and detain us, because there is a strong bilateral understanding between the two nations.”

"They checked our travel movements and soon established that the case was fake and we were released on bail after staying in custody for six days."

"But we had to stay in UAE until a final decision was made on the case. The court sent notifications to India many times  to provide evidence to support their case against us. It took them nearly 3 months to send the first file, and that file only contained a translation of the fabricated FIR, and no other supporting document or evidence."

This was recorded in the judgement made by the Dubai court that Indian authorities had been contacted numerous times, but failed to provide the information needed to prosecute the case.

An excerpt of the judgement by a court in Dubai, in relation to the case pertaining to Manpreet and Pawandeep Sabharwal
An excerpt of the judgement by a court in Dubai, in relation to the case pertaining to Manpreet and Pawandeep Sabharwal
Supplied

Manpreet slammed the Indian authorities for pursuing a case without checking the basic details. 

"The FIR had stated that my brother and I had allegedly committed this crime of demanding dowry and trying to kill my ex-wife with electric shocks in India, in March 2011. But travel records prove that my brother wasn't even in the country at the time."

"The chargesheet falsely claimed that my brother and I were citizens of India in 2011, and that we escaped the country after this and came to Australia."

But Manpreet Singh Sabharwal and his brother Pawandeep were naturalised as Australian citizens in the years 2007 and 2009 respectively, well before the incident allegedly took place. 

The initial proceedings in UAE courts show their status as Indian citizens, but Manpreet adds that "the final judgement reflects our nationality as Australian."

It mentions that the Indian government's request didn't contain legal provisions or evidence needed to extradite the brothers, because of which the whole case is now dismissed. 

An excerpt of the judgement by a court in Dubai, in relation to the case pertaining to Manpreet and Pawandeep Sabharwal
An excerpt of the judgement by a court in Dubai, in relation to the case pertaining to Manpreet and Pawandeep Sabharwal
Supplied

Manpreet told SBS Punjabi that "it won't be possible for anyone to appeal against this judgement, and the red corner notice will now be revoked globally, so that the Indian government can't torture us again."

"A copy of the order has been sent to Canberra, Kuwait, India as well as the head office of Interpol at Leon, and it is expected that the notice will be removed from all countries within 60 days."

He added, "the whole process has been nothing but a torture for us. It was very hard for the two of us to be in Dubai for 10 months, without work. It has caused immense mental trauma, and put us under a lot of financial stress. What kept us going was the thought that justice will prevail - and thank god it did!"

"We've lost well over $300,000 if you take into account the loss of income and the costs we've incurred. We're lucky that we had a financial buffer and were able to sustain this somehow."

Final judgement made by a court in Dubai, in relation to the case pertaining to Manpreet and Pawandeep Sabharwal
Supplied

The brothers were in touch with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) thorughout this period as well.

A DFAT spokesperson had previously told SBS Punjabi that the men were being provided with consular assistance in Dubai but Australia couldn’t interfere in the legal matters of another country.

"Now with the help of DFAT, we would like to take this case to the International Court of Justice, because this should never have happened," Manpreet said.

Previously, SBS Punjabi has spoken to Manpreet's ex wife Divya, who alleged that Manpreet and his family tried to kill her when they were in India in March 2011. 

"They were forcing me to sign documents, including some blank documents. When I refused, they locked me in a room and then tried to kill me by giving electric shocks," she told SBS Punjabi. 

The Family Court of Australia found Divya Sabharwal’s complaints to be “malicious” during the custody hearing of the couple’s son.

Manpreet Sabharwal told SBS Punjabi, "One thing is for sure - my brother and I will never travel to India ever again. We feel there is a live threat against us - not from my ex-wife, but from the Indian government. If they can create a false case like this against us, without any proof, then anything could happen to us if we ever went to India."

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