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Chief Registrar Lawyers Warned

Legal officers practising in the name of Chief Registrar’s officers have been reminded to be fair and just. The Legal Service Commissioner Justice Paul Madigan in a ruling between three
16 Nov 2014 00:16
Chief Registrar Lawyers Warned

Legal officers practising in the name of Chief Registrar’s officers have been reminded to be fair and just.

The Legal Service Commissioner Justice Paul Madigan in a ruling between three lawyers of the Chief Registrar’s office and practitioner Devanesh Sharma and R. Patel Lawyers (firm) last Friday expressed his concerns over unfair and biased practices.

R Patel Lawyers faced six counts of unsatisfactory professional conduct and a count of professional misconduct and Sharma faced three counts of professional misconduct. Justice Madigan struck out the charges laid against both of them for abuse of process.

In 2011, an aggrieved client of the firm and the practitioner, in a matrimonial dispute laid complaints against both parties with the Chief Registrar.

After two years, in November last year, the Chief Registrar filed charges against both the practitioner and the firm.

During the past two years, no meetings were sought with Mr Sharma and the firm for further explanations or were they given any chance to respond to specific allegations.

Mr Sharma on behalf of the firm and himself submitted that the Legal Practitioners Office of Chief Registrar had conducted a malicious prosecution against them and had engaged in ‘rogue conduct’ which prevented them from defending themselves.

Justice Madigan said the investigation by the Legal Practitioners Unit was one-sided and biased.

Justice Madigan ruled that as prosecutors of criminal trial must fairly present all relevant evidence to court and must not operate to secure a conviction at any cost so must  a counsel appearing in the name of Chief Registrar.

“It is a shame that the good office of the Chief Registrar is impugned by unfair and biased practices by officers acting in his name.”

Feedback:  farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj

 




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