The United Arab Emirates (UAE) set a new example by issuing a birth certificate for a baby born to a Hindu father and a Muslim mother – both Indian expats, Khaleej Times reported. Many netizens termed it as a Modi effect and citing great India-UAE relations.
According to the Gulf country’s marriage rules for expatriates, a Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman; however, a Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man. The Sharjah-based expat couple Kiran Babu and Sanam Saboo Siddique got married in India in 2016.
The couple landed in the UAE in 2017 and encountered no difficulty whatsoever with the visa process. However, when their baby was born in July 2018 that they faced an unexpected situation.
Babu said: “I have an Abu Dhabi visa. I get my insurance coverage there and got my wife admitted to Medeor 24X7 Hospital in the emirate. 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.”
Left with no option since the baby didn’t have any legal documents, the father searched for a solution during the amnesty period.
He added: “Those days were stressful and 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.”
Babu pinned his hopes on the embassy. “Embassy counsellor M Rajamurugan supported us throughout the process. Then, VPS Healthcare got involved. At the end, the judicial department made my case an exception. I was told that from now on, in such cases, we have to put together a request letter, get it approved by the chief justice, and take it to the health authority for the issuance of a birth certificate.”
On April 14, a day before the Hindu festival of Vishu, the family received a token of blessing from the UAE authorities in the form of a birth certificate in the name of Anamta Aceline Kiran; the baby. “I am told that this is the first case where the rule has been amended.”
This story originally appeared in Khaleej Times