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