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Naidu Files Two More Summons

The Court heard that this was a serious matter where Naidu had posted a scandalous post which attracted comments and engagement by ordinary Facebook users, and that a comment also stated “hope it’s not an expat Judge”.
12 Aug 2022 13:10
Naidu Files Two More Summons
Richard Naidu. Photo: Ashna Kumar

The Civil High Court will deliver its ruling in September on two further summons filed by counsel for Richard Naidu, Jon Apted.

Naidu is alleged to have scandalised and ridiculed the courts and the judiciary in a Facebook post where he made comments in relation to a judgment delivered by the High Court in Suva.

The Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has filed the proceedings alleging that Naidu has ridiculed the Judiciary in a Facebook post.

The court heard that Naidu’s lawyers had filed a Summons to Set Aside the Ex Parte Order granted by the court to institute the committal proceedings and that this was called before the Court on July 26.

 

Mr Apted argued that the hearing had not taken place on this day and that senior counsel from Australia had been engaged to argue the setting aside.

The Court heard that Naidu also wished to cross examine the Attorney-General.

Mr Apted said that the Court had directed the parties to file written submissions in respect of the setting aside and after he had responded to arguments made by the Attorney-General’s counsel.

Mr Apted’s latest Summons asked for an amendment to the Summons seeking to set aside the ex parte order and for an oral hearing, and cross examination of the Attorney-General.

 

Lawyers for the Attorney General, Devanesh Sharma and Gul Fatima said that the latest Summons should be ignored by the Court as they were an afterthought.

They maintained that Apted had conducted the Hearing on July 26 in respect of his Summons to Set Aside and that the Court had given a date for its Decision.

They said everything that Mr Apted was raising now needed to be dealt with in the substantive matter in the committal proceedings.

The lawyers for AG argued that Naidu had not signed any Affidavits or taken his plea and that it wasn’t the Attorney-General who was rushing these proceedings in any way. Mr Apted had claimed this as he took the position that due process needed to be accorded to his client.

Lawyers for the Attorney-General also argued that Apted had complied with the directions of the Court by filing written submissions in the Summons to Set Aside.

 

The Court heard that this was a serious matter where Naidu had posted a scandalous post which attracted comments and engagement by ordinary Facebook users, and that a comment also stated “hope it’s not an expat Judge”.

The Court heard that Naidu did not delete this comment but was questioning why the Attorney General had brought these proceedings.

The Court heard that the onus is not reversed to the Applicant to prove what steps it took to ask a proposed contemnor to remove the post. It heard that committal proceedings have to do with the conduct of the accused and Naidu has to take his plea, provide his defence and speak to the post.

The parties were directed to file responding submissions by Wednesday next week and a Decision will be given on September 1.

 

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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