Court Ac­quits Bobby Ma­haraj

Fiji Sun - - NATION - ASHNA KU­MAR Edited by Ivamere Nataro Feed­back: ashna.ku­mar@fi­jisun.com.fj

The Mag­is­trates Court in Suva has ac­quit­ted the for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive officer of the then Fiji Com­merce Com­mis­sion, Bobby Ma­haraj. Mag­is­trate Jioji Bo­sei­waqa ruled that there was no case to an­swer. Ma­haraj was rep­re­sented by lawyer De­vanesh Sharma from R Pa­tel Lawyers for the rul­ing of his no case to an­swer ap­pli­ca­tion. Ma­haraj was charged with one count of abuse of of­fice by the Fiji In­de­pen­dent Com­mis­sion Against Cor­rup­tion (FICAC).

It was al­leged that be­tween March 17, 2012 and De­cem­ber 31, 2012, whilst be­ing em­ployed in the pub­lic ser­vice as the CEO for the then Fiji Com­merce Com­mis­sion, he did an ar­bi­trary act in abuse of the au­thor­ity of his of­fice.

It was al­leged that Ma­haraj di­rected one San­jay Menon, an em­ployee of the Com­mis­sion, with­out con­duct­ing an in­spec­tion, to fill in false in­for­ma­tion in the Com­mis­sion’s In­spec­tion No. 10A.

This act by Menon in­di­cated that an in­spec­tion was con­ducted at Rajah’s Food Court and Bak­ery in Korovou on De­cem­ber 19, 2011. A ver­bal warn­ing was al­legedly is­sued against the food court and bak­ery for breaches un­der the Com­merce Com­mis­sion De­cree, which was an act prej­u­di­cial to the rights of the Com­mis­sion, Food Court and the Bak­ery.

Mag­is­trate Bo­sei­waqa said the court as­sessed all the pros­e­cu­tion ev­i­dence and found that the ev­i­dence was man­i­festly un­re­li­able. “This means that there is not cred­i­ble ev­i­dence to cover all the el­e­ments of the of­fence.

“The de­fen­dant (Ma­haraj) has no case to an­swer and is ac­quit­ted pur­suant to Sec­tion 278 of the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Act 2009,” Mag­is­trate Bo­sei­waqa said.

Photo: Ashna Ku­mar

Lawyer De­vanesh Sharma (left) with his client, Bobby Ma­haraj, af­ter he was ac­quit­ted by the Mag­is­trates Court in Suva on May 11, 2020.

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