Abu Dhabi, April 28 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has issued a birth certificate to a baby born to an inter-faith Indian expat couple, the media reported on Sunday.
According to the UAE’s marriage rules for expatriates, a Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman; however, a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man, reports the Khaleej Times.
Kiran Babu, the Hindu Sharjah-based expat, married Sanam Saboo Siddique, who is Muslim, in Kerala in 2016.
The couple arrived in the UAE in 2017 and encountered no difficulty with the visa process. It was only when their baby was born last July that they faced an unexpected situation.
“I have an Abu Dhabi visa. I get my insurance coverage. But after the baby’s delivery, the birth certificate was rejected as I am a Hindu. Then, I applied for a no-objection certificate through the court. The trial went on for four months but my case was rejected,” Babu told the Khaleej Times.
Left with no option, he tried a way out during the amnesty period which the UAE government ran from August 1 to December 31, 2018. Visa violators were given the chance to either leave the country without paying fines or adjust their residency status.
“The amnesty was a window of hope. The Indian Embassy helped with the provision of an outpass. But the baby was denied immigration clearance as there was no data or registration number to prove her birth.”
But on April 14, a day before the Hindu festival of Vishu, the family received the birth certificate for their baby. “I am told that this is the first case where the rule has been amended.”
Embassy Counsellor M. Rajamurugan said the ground-breaking ruling will serve as a precedent for future cases.