Court grants bail for alleged fraudsters
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