Deportation Order Overruled
THE HABEAS CORPUS APPLICATION WAS A WRIT TO ONLY TEST LEGALITY OF THE DETENTION
Aman charged with one count of using forged documents and another count of conspiracy to defraud –influencing a public official appeared at the Suva Magistrates Court last Friday. Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili noted that the accused was to be deported to India on Saturday morning as per the High Court order after a Habeas Corpus application was filed by lawyer Parvesh Sharma on behalf of the accused earlier this month. However the State informed court that after the deportation order was made, Police submitted a file to the DPP’s office and after looking at the evidence and charges were LAID AGAINST THE ACCUSED s
Mr Sharma argued that when the
Habeas Corpus application was being heard, State had informed the Court that no charges were going TO BE LAID s
Chief Magistrate Ratuvili questioned State that they have a court order to oblige then why were charges were laid. The matter was stood down for the accused to be present in court by 12 noon and State to get instructions.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde appeared for the State when the matter was recalled at the Suva Magistrates Court. The DPP made submissions that based on the evidence in the Police docket, charges were laid against the accused.
He said provided that the court was satisfied that the criminal proceedings were properly instituted and were not vexatious or an abuse of the process of the court – no civil court may intrude into the domain of the criminal court. The DPP said the Habeas Corpus application was a writ to only test the legality of the detention.
He said after reviewing the Police file there were evidence hence the charges were filed on 19.05.16. He said the charges were lawfully brought and there was no evidence that the DPP has acted in any improper manner in bringing the charges.
Therefore, he submitted that any order in another court even though a high court must be set aside and the court must direct its mind to the charges before it. Mr Pryde said the criminal court took precedence over any civil court. The Defence submitted that when the Habeas Corpus application was made, State had informed that no charges would be laid hence the deportation order was made.
Mr Sharma informed the court that there is no application by the Director of Immigration to have the order rescinded. He said the accused was kept in custody for 10 months in an Immigration safe house without being charged. He asked the court to dismiss the charges laid so the accused could be deported. However the DPP pointed out that that it was not appropriate for any other court to usurp the powers of the DPP under the Constitution. He said that he had the powers to review and see whether an offence had been committed even after an order had been made. The court noted both parties’ submissions and made an order that the High Court be formally informed of the charges laid against the accused.
The accused has been remanded in custody and the matter has been adjourned to June 3. Meanwhile a review of the Habeas Corpus application would be heard in the High Court tomorrow Edited by Rusiate Mataika
Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde.