Lawyer ordered to pay PM and AG over $149k
July 24, 2020 12:55 pm
Lautoka Lawyer Aman Ravindra Singh has been ordered to pay Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum $120,000 as damages in relation to a defamation case.
Lautoka Lawyer Aman Ravindra Singh has been ordered to pay Prime Minister and Attorney-General $149,128.95 in damages for defamation.
Voreqe Bainimarama and AG Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, submitted in court that Singh made unsubstantiated allegations on social media about them and the May 2000 coup.
The court found that Singh posted an unsubstantiated article title “Regime Dirty Politics” on his Facebook page.
The Civil High court today ordered Singh to also write a public retraction and apology to the Prime Minister and the Attorney General in prominent print which is to be published on his Facebook page and in all local daily newspapers.
He has also been ordered to remove the subject article from his Facebook page immediately.
Singh is to pay $60, 000 each to the PM and the AG with six percent interest on the sum awarded from 7th March 2018 to date of the judgement.
He must also pay $8, 000 as costs within 30 days.
The High Court in its ruling states the allegations were serious in nature and one should not make allegations of this nature unless they are true and have strong grounds to justify them.
It also says said the people who read the article would certainly have lost faith in the Prime Minister because he was referred to in the said article as violent Voreqe.
The High Court further adds the second plaintiff, the Minister of Economy and the Attorney General was also elected by people of Fiji and without any reasonable ground, was referred to as corrupt Khaiyum.
The High court Judge said that people have various political affiliations but one must not defame the character of another for his own political gain – which is what happened in this case.
The ruling also states that no court will have sympathy towards people who violate the rights of others, in the guise of exercising their rights guaranteed by the constitution.