Monday, April 15, 2024
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Charge dropped, no conviction against Naidu

High Court Judge Justice Daniel Goundar today set aside the charge of contempt of scandalising the court against prominent Suva lawyer Richard Naidu and ruled that the court will not be recording a conviction against him.

Naidu was initially found guilty in November last year.

While delivering his judgment, Justice Gounder said summons to set aside the judgment that found Naidu guilty is by consent and is dismissed as he does not have the jurisdiction.

He said while mitigation and sentencing were pending, a new Government came into power and a new Attorney General was appointed.

Justice Goundar said after the change, Justice Jude Nanayakkara who was previously presiding over the case has resigned and left the jurisdiction without concluding the proceedings.

He said the new Attorney-General, Siromi Turaga has taken a different position regarding the proceedings, which he has expressed in an affidavit filed in support of the summons to dismiss the proceedings.

Turaga in his affidavit stated that he is of the view that these proceedings should never have been instituted against Naidu in the first place and he has conveyed to Naidu that he is of the view that the decision of 22 November, 2022 ought to be set aside and the proceedings dismissed.

Justice Goundar said Turaga does not support the findings that Naidu is guilty of contempt scandalising the court and it has not been suggested that the present Attorney General is acting unfairly as the representative of public interest in consenting to an order setting aside the judgement.

The committal proceeding was brought against Naidu by the then Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum after he had posted on his Facebook page a picture of a judgement in a case represented by his associate that had the word ‘injunction’ misspelt, and then made some comments that he was pretty sure the applicant wanted an injunction.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports |


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