FIJI NEWS

Suspended until ’16, ’17

Chaudhry, Marawai guilty of professional misconduct By JYOTI PRATIBHA Suva lawyer Rajendra Chaudhry will file an appeal before the Fiji Court of Appeal against a decision by the Independent Legal
06 Oct 2012 10:00

Chaudhry, Marawai guilty of professional misconduct

Rajendra Chaudhry (left) and Kini Maraiwai (right).

By JYOTI PRATIBHA

Suva lawyer Rajendra Chaudhry will file an appeal before the Fiji Court of Appeal against a decision by the Independent Legal Services Commission to suspend his practicing certificate until March 2017.
Mr Chaudhry will also file for a stay on the order before the Commission.
The Commission, after having found Mr Chaudhry and fellow  colleague, Kini Maraiwai, guilty of professional misconduct, suspended their practicing certificates in Fiji.
They were found guilty of misconduct in their practice as legal practitioners, and Commissioner judge Justice Paul Madigan penalised them after taking into consideration their mitigation.
Justice Madigan noted that a finding of misconduct does not necessarily lead to punishment but a balance “is to be sought between protection of society andthe need to impose proper sanction on the miscreant practitioner”.
Mr Maraiwai was found guilty on two counts of unsatisfactory professional misconduct and one count of more serious professional misconduct.
These charges emanated from his conduct in acting for Indian national, Muskan Balaggan.
Mr Chaudhry was found guilty of one count of professional misconduct and one count of unsatisfactory professional conduct in the “discourteous way he made reference to a Judge (Justice Daniel Goundar) of the High Court”.
In his mitigation, Mr Chaudhry maintained that he thought he was not offending any legal instrument by appearing for Balaggan after she filed a complaint that he allegedly raped her. The rape allegation was later withdrawn.
He also wrote a letter of apology to Justice Goundar, which Justice Madigan noted was humble and apologetic.
Mr Maraiwai also maintained that there was no deceit or fraud practice involved when he appeared for Balaggan and signed an affidavit he prepared. He also stated that he was the legal counsel for the Cakaudrove Province.
Justice Madigan said the lack of remorse by the two and their “seeming failure to appreciate the gravity” of the offence, there was no option but to “deny them the right to practice their profession”.
“Such penalty is not a punishment but it is to protect society from incompetent lawyers and especially the Court from deceitful advocacy, as we as a duty to inculcate high ethical standards on Fiji’s practitioners,” Justice Madigan said.
Mr Maraiwai has been suspended from practice as a legal practitioner in Fiji with immediate effect until March 1, 2016.
Mr Chaudhry has been allowed to practice until 5pm on October 26, but he is not to appear in court nor accept any new instructions from either existing or new clients.
The two can only be re-certified as a practitioner by the Chief Registrar after having five hours of training in Legal Ethics by an institution or a tutor acceptable to the Chief Registrar.
They are also ordered to be publicly reprimanded and to pay $1000 each, which would be shared between the Commission and the Legal Practitioner’s Unit.




Subscribe to E-Edition
pacific island top up
Air Nuigini
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: