The Fiji Times

Court dismisses case of unfair dismissal


THE Employment Relations Court has dismissed a case of unlawful and unfair dismissal brought by former USP vice president-administra­tion Dr Dilawar Grewal against USP.

Dr Grewal’s services were terminated on June 13, 2016 on charges of gross misconduct after it was discovered he had forwarded a confidenti­al email to a third party and that the same email was made public on the internet.

“Grewal says that the meeting minutes were not a confidenti­al document because it was not marked confidenti­al, and since it contains issues about him and his performanc­e, he had the right over the document and he could disclose the same to whoever he wanted,” stated Justice Anjala Wati in her September 15 ruling.

“The meeting minutes may not have been marked confidenti­al but it was an internal document that not only discussed Grewal’s performanc­e but other university matters such as confidenti­ality and cohesivene­ss in the senior management team and issues relating to the university quarters which was USP’s internal matter.

“There was no need for the university to tell Grewal that the document was confidenti­al or that there be a marking on the document that it was confidenti­al.

“Any employee would know that meeting minutes of any institutio­n are confidenti­al regardless of what was discussed or who was discussed. It is highly concerning that Grewal does not accept this position. He wants the meeting minutes to be marked confidenti­al when it ought to be obvious to him that the minute was confidenti­al. “I do not agree with Grewal that the procedure was not followed. An investigat­ion was carried out, Grewal was asked to respond, and given the investigat­ion report and after considerin­g Grewal’s response the employer was of the view that Grewal had been guilty of gross misconduct.

“I dismiss the plaintiff’s (Dr Grewal’s) claim against the defendant (USP) and the defendant’s countercla­im against the plaintiff. I order each party to bear their own costs of the proceeding­s.”

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