Appeals Court sets aside judgment in Grace Road case

February 29, 2024 12:01 pm

Daniel Jung Yong Kim

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the High Court in Lautoka erred in striking out the application of Habeas Corpus for Grace Road Fiji’s President, Daniel Jung Yong Kim and five others.

In a ruling today, the Appeals Court allowed the appeal filed by the appellants and has set aside the High Court judgement that was delivered in October last year.

The High Court has also been directed to hear and determine within seven days from today the applications of the appellants.

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On 27 October, 2023, Lautoka High Court Judge Justice Lyone Seneviratne had struck out the habeas application on summary grounds that it was an invalid application.

Counsel representing Kim and five other, Ronald Gordon had appealed the judgment on the grounds that the learned judge erred in law and in holding that the High Court did not have jurisdiction in the action and dismissing the action.

In his appeal, Gordon had also stated that the learned judge erred in law in holding that the proceedings did not challenge the decision of the Minister or Permanent Secretary, and ought to have held that the application for a writ of habeas corpus in the circumstances challenged the legality of the detention of the plaintiff which, in turn, challenged the administrative decisions that purportedly gave rise to the power of detention.

He had also stated that the judge erred in holding that there was no substantive relief sought against the defendants that would give rise to interim relief and ought to have held that the Court had jurisdiction to issue a writ of habeas corpus to transfer the custody of the plaintiffs from the control of the immigration authorities to the control of the Court pending the determination of the proceedings.