NEWS

Chaudhry Appeal Bid Dismissed

Mahendra Chaudhry’s application for special leave to appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Suva yesterday. Chaudhry through his lawyer Anand Singh sought leave to appeal against a judgment
15 Nov 2014 08:38
Chaudhry Appeal Bid Dismissed
Mahendra Chaudhry with wife yesterday. Photo: Jona Konataci

Mahendra Chaudhry’s application for special leave to appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Suva yesterday.

Chaudhry through his lawyer Anand Singh sought leave to appeal against a judgment of August 2014 of the Fiji Court of Appeal which affirmed his conviction by the High Court in Suva.

The application for special leave to appeal said the Court of Appeal erred in fact and law in upholding the conviction of Chaudhry.

Earlier this year Chaudhry was found guilty and convicted of three counts of breach of the Exchange Control Act, namely; failure to surrender foreign currency, dealing with foreign currency otherwise with an authorized dealer without permission and failure to collect debts.

He was sentenced in May to pay a fine of $2million or face 15months imprisonment. The sentence was appealed in the High Court of Appeal in Suva in August where the judges confirmed his conviction but varied the sentence.

The High Court of Appeal reduced his fine sentence to $1million.

Justice Saleem Marsoof said the submissions made on behalf of Chaudhry were unjustified.

He said according to the Exchange Control Act, it was clear that offences concerned with any currency, any security, any payment and gold and does not consist only of failure to give information or provide documents were subjected to larger fines being imposed not exceeding three times the amount of the currency.

The judge said if the offence only consisted of a mere failure to give information or provide documents then the fines would be around $1000 to $2000 depending on the summary of conviction.

Justice Marsoof said this case involved ‘foreign currency.’ He said the argument was that the present convictions do not concern any currency was both contrived and artificial.

He said the definition of currency in Section 2(1) of the Exchange Control Act is an inclusive definition and there is nothing that would exclude the money deposited in foreign banks.

Justice Marsoof ruled that the Court of Appeal sentence would not be changed and the special leave to appeal was dismissed.

farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj

 




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