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Legal redress matter filed by Opposition struck out

December 20, 2018 5:06 pm

The three petition cases challenging the results of the 2018 General Election was struck out by the Court of Disputed Returns yesterday

This after SODELPA, the National Federation Party and Unity Fiji representatives made an application to withdraw their petition following a ruling by the High court Judges on the number of witnesses to be called in to give evidence.

The election petition was filed earlier this month regarding issues arising out of the conduct, count and tallying of results in the election.

Some of the matters raised include claims of unlawful conduct by election candidates under the Electoral Act.

There are also alleged breaches by the Supervisor of Elections of his duties under the Electoral Act.

In a ruling this afternoon the Court allowed the first petitioners to call only two witnesses out of the eight proposed by the counsel for SODELPA and NFP.

Petitioners lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo says he was instructed to ask the Court for the petition to be withdrawn with the leave of Court which was granted by the Judge.

The respondents counsel did not object to this, however, they asked for indemnity costs.

The petitioners have been ordered to pay respondents a total of $14,500.

The respondents were represented by Devenesh Sharma and Solicitor General Sharvada Sharma while the Electoral

Commission has been ordered to bear their own cost.

Unity Fiji’s Satish Kumar and Jone Dakuvula also applied to withdraw the petition.

This was granted by the High court Judges Anjala Wati and Justice Kamal Kumar without any cost.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the best thing to do was to withdraw the petition.

Similar sentiments were echoed by the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Meanwhile earlier in the afternoon, Justice Kumar ruled and highlighted the reasons for not allowing the other six witnesses to give oral evidence.

The Judge said in relation to the certain allegations mentioned in the petition, the facts have been admitted by the respondents and there is no need for them to be called.

The Judge also said in relation to Rosy Lagi her evidence would be prejudice towards the defendants and refused for her to be called to give evidence and that she was not a co-petitioner.

For Subrail Narayan and Kamal Iyer, Justice Kumar said the two were campaign administrators and candidates respectively and are not independent witnesses.

The court allowed Asivorosi and Duituturaga to be called as witnesses as the allegation by the petitioners and the answers given by the respondents are not same and on this basis they will be called as witnesses.

Meanwhile, Justice Wati refused the application of Satish Kumar’s lawyer and Jone Dakuvula saying they witnesses are irrelevant to the case.

The Election petition cases were filed on December 10th.