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Hearing begins for former Commerce Commission CEO

December 16, 2019 5:05 pm
Bobby Maharaj

The hearing of the former Chief Executive of the then Fiji Commerce Commission, Bobby Maharaj started in the Suva Magistrates Court today – seven years after charges were laid.

Maharaj is charged with one count of abuse of office.

It is alleged that between March and December 2012 he directed an employee to fill in false information without inspecting Rajah’s Food Court and Bakery in Korovou Tailevu and that a verbal warning was issued against the trader.

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The first witness Rajendra Prasad who was the owner of the business in question this morning testified that an inspection was carried out by two inspectors under the supervision of Maharaj.

He claims he was slapped with a $1000 spot fine and pleaded with the accused not to fine him.

Prasad gave evidence that he paid the fine in April 2012 and wrote to the Commission Chair to raise grievances – but did not get a response.

He stated that Rajah’s Food Court and Bakery had no prior convictions and should have been handed a written warning instead of a fine.

However, when cross-examined, Prasad admitted that they did in-fact breach the Commerce Commission Act on two occasions prior to the spot fine.

The business had been warned against selling expired food items and overcharging customers.

The hearing will continue tomorrow morning.

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