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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

MEA to the rescue: Jailed Kerala businessman to walk out of UAE prison soon

MM Ramachandran, 78, was jailed in August 2015 after a consortium of 22 banks filed a complaint against him, claiming that he failed to repay loans taken from them.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2018 23:44 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
MM Ramachandran was a leading jeweller and filmmaker.
MM Ramachandran was a leading jeweller and filmmaker.(MEAQuery/Twitter)

Following the intervention of the ministry of external affairs (MEA), Atlas Ramachandran, a prominent businessman from Kerala, is set to walk out of prison. He has been in a jail in UAE for more than two years.

Once a leading jeweller (Atlas Group) and filmmaker, 78-year-old MM Ramachandran was jailed in August 2015 after a consortium of 22 banks filed a complaint against him, claiming that he failed to repay loans taken from them.

His wife, Indira Ramachandran, met BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan and sought his help to free her aged husband who is a heart patient and a chronic diabetic.

“As result of these continued efforts, the Consul General was informed by Mrs Indira Ramachandran the previous week that Doha Bank has agreed to look into signing such an agreement. The Consulate General is also taking up the issue with the other two banks,” said a letter written by RV Prasad, director (Gulf) in MEA, to BJP legislator in Kerala Assembly O Rajagopal in September 2017.

Most of the banks have now reportedly agreed to withdraw their complaints against him till he disposes of his properties and pay them back. However, certain formalities need to be completed before Ramachandran can travel to India. Indira has also sent an affidavit to the UAE with details of his properties in India and abroad.

“We intervened on humanitarian grounds. His wife had approached many but they refused to help. When she came to us, we took it up with Sushma Swaraj, who intervened immediately,” said Rajasekharan, adding Ramachandran would be out of jail by next week if everything went well. Other than those in the UAE, no other cases are pending against him in India; this prompted the MEA to take up his case.

An official familiar with the development said the ministry, through its mission in Dubai, was following up the case.

“As we would do with any similar case involving Indian nationals abroad, we got involved in this case to explore what we could legally do to an Indian national in distress. This also had a humanitarian aspect as the person in question was suffering from age-related ailments. We do help whenever an Indian national is in trouble within what the laws of the land provides for,” said the official.

First Published: Jan 31, 2018 23:44 IST

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