By Dr Nizar Kochery/Doha
Question: My company has taken my passport for verification and is not returning the same. What are my legal rights to have the passport with me? As per the new exit permit system, if the passport is with me, I could travel. Please advise.
Answer: According to Article 8 of the Entry, Exit and Residence Law (Law No 21 of 2015), the employer shall return the passport or travel document to the expatriate worker after completion of the permit procedures or its renewal, unless the expatriate worker requests in writing that the employer shall retain the passport or travel document provided that such a passport or travel document shall be returned to him upon request.
Law on accessing personal data
Q: A few months ago, I gave my PC to a shop for repair and I received it back in good condition. But later, I came to know that they had accessed some of my personal files in the system and they have a copy of that with them. Is it possible for me to take action against them even though I have not suffered any loss connected to the matter? What is the provision in this regard?
A: As per Article 373 of the Penal Law, any person who intentionally accesses, directly or indirectly, another person’s processing system or destroys or modifies the data or means of processing and transfer of data shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not exceeding three years and a fine of not less than QR10,000 and not more than QR50,000.
Maintenance of leased property
Q: We have leased a property from the landlord and with his permission, we have subleased the building to another company for three years. The lease period will expire this month and company has issued notice as per the contract. After an inspection, we have issued a letter to the company to do necessary maintenance of the leased premises. In response to the letter, the company has pointed out that the lease contract does not state anything on maintenance and they rejected the request to do maintenance works. They have damaged the walls with some fixtures. In such a case, who will be responsible for the maintenance? Please advise.
A: According to Article 615 of the Civil Law, the tenant shall be bound to carry out the minor repairs required by the normal use of the leased property. The tenant shall return the leased property in the same condition as it was when he initially took occupation, except for any loss or damage not caused by him. If the leased property is delivered without a description of its condition, the tenant shall be presumed to have taken delivery of the property in good condition until evidence to the contrary is provided. The costs of restitution of the leased property shall be incurred by the tenant unless the agreement or prevailing custom otherwise provides.
Guarantor settles borrower’s dues
Q: I stood as a guarantor for my friend to avail a business loan and I handed over my personal cheques to the bank as a guarantee for payments. Later on, my friend went to India and has not returned. The bank initiated action against me for the payment and I have paid the total loan money due to the bank to lift my travel ban. I don’t have any connection with my friend’s business, but even then the bank has taken action against me. Is it legal to do so? How can I get the loan amount settled by me from my friend? I don’t have any documents to take action against him. Please advise.
A: If borrower defaults, the bank would first approach the borrower to take care of the dues. However, if the borrower is unable to do so, the bank will approach the guarantor to settle the dues. The guarantor can ask the bank to appropriate borrower’s security to recover his dues and if liquidating his assets is not sufficient, the bank has the right to recover the money from the guarantor. Article 828 of the Civil Law states that a creditor is bound to hand over all documents that are necessary to enable him to exercise his right of action to the guarantor at the time of discharge of the debt.
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LEGAL SYSTEM IN QATAR
According to Article 95 of the Criminal Procedure code, if the investigation requires the use of an expert, the Public Prosecution member shall issue a delegate order specifying the assignment. The expert shall take the oath, before the Public Prosecution, before performing his duty.
The Public Prosecution member shall fix a time for the expert to submit the report in writing, and he may replace the expert with another expert if he fails to submit his report within the specified time, or if the investigation so requires.
As per Article 98, if there are substantial reasons, the suspect and the victim may reject the expert upon an application to be submitted to the Public Prosecution. The application shall state the reasons of rejection and the Public Prosecution shall make a decision within three days after submission. Consequently, the expert shall discontinue his work except in the case of urgency and upon an order from the Public Prosecution member.
The suspect and the victim may be assisted by a consultant expert, who may request to examine the papers, and all what has previously been presented to the expert appointed by the Public Prosecution, provided that this shall not result in delaying the proceedings.
According to Article 100, the Public Prosecution member shall, in the presence of the suspect for the first time in the investigation, inform the suspect that the Public Prosecution is proceeding with the investigation, verify the identity of the suspect, record his personal data, inform the charges attributed to him, and state in the record any statements he makes about the charges.
Other than in cases of flagrante delicto, or urgency due to fear of loss of evidence, the Public Prosecution member may not, in felonies, examine the suspect or confront him with other suspects or witnesses, unless after calling his attorney to attend, if he has decided to use an attorney.
The suspect may specify the name of his attorney in the record of the investigation or with the court clerk of the Public Prosecution in whose jurisdiction the investigation is carried out, or to the officer responsible for the management of the place where he is held in custody, and his attorney may carry out this report.
According to Article 102, the suspect’s attorney shall be enabled to review the investigation, at least one day prior to the examination or confrontation unless the member of the Public Prosecution considers otherwise. In all cases, no separation shall be made between the suspect and the attorney attending the investigation. The suspect shall not be asked to take an oath.
The Public Prosecution member may issue, as the case may be, an order for the suspect to be present at a specified time, or to be arrested and summoned. Each order shall include the suspect’s name and surname, profession, place of residence, the attributed charge, the date of the order, the name of the Public Prosecution member and signature, and the official stamp of the Public Prosecution’s office. The arrest warrant and summons shall also include the instruction to public authority officers to arrest the suspect and bring him before the Public Prosecution member by force if he refuses to come voluntarily at once. Orders shall be notified to the suspect by the public authority officers, with a copy thereof to be handed to the suspect. The orders issued by the Public Prosecution member shall be applicable in the territory of the State of Qatar.
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