Author: ARAB NEWS
Thursday 1 December 2011
However, some lawyers believed the ministry had no right to
do so, local daily Al-Madinah reported Thursday.
The ministry also stated that it had the right to disregard
applications and to reclaim any amount of money paid to beneficiaries if any
discrepancies were detected in their data.
Commenting on the issue, legal consultant Dr. Omar Al-Kholi
said the condition inserted by the ministry in the application forms was
meaningless because rules and regulations only state anyone providing false
data that causes harm to another party should be taken to court.
He said the ministry put the condition only to remind
applicants of the consequences of providing wrong information.
Adil Al-Salih, another Saudi legal consultant, said the
ministry did not stipulate such a condition unless it meant to ask applicants
to be truthful and credible. “This condition was not there when the program was
first launched,” he recalled.
Al-Salih said taking applicants to special courts for
providing wrong information was not legally sound.
“Violators could not be taken to the administrative court on
charges of forgery as they were not government employees. The charge of forgery
in their case could not be proven as any criminal intent would be difficult to
prove,” he said.
The lawyer said young men and women who provide wrong data
with the aim of obtaining financial help from the Hafiz program could not be
considered criminals as it would contradict the very essence of the program
itself. “Therefore, taking them to court is not the appropriate legal action,”
According to local press reports, the names of more than
3,000 dead people were discovered among the applicants for Hafiz financial
assistance, which offers SR2,000 monthly. Under the program, the unemployed men
and women would obtain the allowance for a whole year.