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Court grants substitutive services to petitioners

December 13, 2018 1:11 pm
NFP Leader Biman Prasad [2nd from left] and SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka [2nd from right] outside the Suva Court

The Court of Disputed Returns has granted an application by the petitioners.

The grant is for the substitutive services in relation to SODELPA and National Federation Party’s legal redress.

Both parties are challenging the outcome of the 2018 general election.

This means the petitioners have been allowed to advertise the petition in tomorrow’s newspapers.

Lawyers representing Social Democratic Liberal Party and the National Federation Party today informed the court that they were unable to serve the petition to any of the 28 respondents.

Filimoni Vosarogo says they were to serve the petition to the respondents, but claims the respondents evaded the service and locked themselves at the Suvavou House in Suva.

Vosarogo asked for courts guidance and indicated that they will be making an application for substitutive service – which was granted.

Devenesh Sharma who is representing FijiFirst Party General Secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum however objected to this saying there is nothing to prosecute.

He also says the Courts order to strike out the matter must prevail as there were no prior application for any alternative action.

He also says there is no evidence that the respondents were evading the service.

Sharma also informed the Court that one of the respondents namely Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is also out of the country.

The respondent’s lawyer, Solicitor General General Sharvada Sharma says the petitioners had chosen to file the petition at the very last minute and four days have been lost already.

He says that matter should be dealt with emergency and that there is not enough time.

He also agreed with Devenesh Sharma.

SODELPA and NFP are seeking legal redress to challenge the outcome of the 2018 General Election.

The matter has been adjourned to Monday for any re-directions.