Court grants bail for al­leged fraud­sters

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - JES­SICA GOUNDER Feed­back: jes­sica.gounder@fi­

An ap­pli­ca­tion to strike out a Fiji Times bid seek­ing a ju­di­cial re­view of the award of Gov­ern­ment ad­ver­tis­ing con­tract has been dis­missed. The At­tor­ney-Gen­eral’s Cham­bers had filed the ap­pli­ca­tion in High Court in Suva on be­half of the So­lic­i­tor-Gen­eral and the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary for Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

In re­gards to the ap­pli­ca­tion un­der Or­der 18, Rule 18, of High Court Rules 1988, the court has de­ter­mined that no orig­i­nat­ing mo­tion can be struck off.

It was sub­mit­ted that the Fiji Times ap­pli­ca­tion was an abuse of the court process, dis­closed no rea­son­able cause of ac­tion and was friv­o­lous and vex­a­tious be­cause a new fis­cal year had been changed and a new ten­der process was be­ing called on Au­gust 16. But the judge, Jus­tice Deepthi Amaratunga, stated that in the ab­sence of such ad­ver­tise­ment, it could not be con­sid­ered that the is­sues be­tween par­ties were no longer out­stand­ing de­spite a new ten­der be­ing called. He also stated that there was no com­mu­ni­ca­tion other than the ad­ver­tise­ment in the news­pa­per re­gard­ing the se­lec­tion of the in­ter­ested party to any gov­ern­ment body and as a re­sult, this is­sue needed clar­i­fi­ca­tion at the hear­ing. Jus­tice Amaratunga said that due to the mat­ter be­ing of pub­lic im­por­tance, the un­re­solved is­sues would need to be de­ter­mined at the sub­stan­tive hear­ing. Em­manuel Narayan of Pa­tel Sharma Lawyers ap­peared for Fiji Sun (In­ter­ested Party) and Melvin Chand of Munro Leys ap­peared for Fiji Times (Ap­pli­cant) while Ofa So­laimailagi ap­peared for So­lic­i­tor­Gen­eral and the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary for Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. The court has been ad­journed for the sub­stan­tive hear­ing on Septem­ber 23. Edited by Maraia Vula

Em­manuel Narayan.

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