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Taxi Union Raises Concern

Taxi Union Raises Concern
March 03
10:19 2015

The Fiji Taxi Union has raised concerns to the Land Transport Authority asking for a number of Public Service Vehicle operators to surrender their vehicle registration plates and wheel tax stickers.

The Union’s national general secretary, Rishi Ram, said this was discussed during their Labasa branch annual general meeting during the weekend.

Mr Ram said on December 15, last year, he wrote a letter to the then Minister for Transport, Timoci Natuva about the issue.

“The subject is a number of PSV operators having criminal records are being asked by the Authority to surrender their vehicle registration plates and the wheel tax stickers,” Mr Ram said.

“Those operators have already been fined either by the Magistrate Court or by the High Court and they have all paid their fines. Now the LTA is penalising them once again which is completely wrong. By law, a person can only be fined or penalised once and not twice as stipulated in our Constitution.

“We are requesting the honourable minister to intervene to safeguard our PSV and drivers as their rights are being taken away.”

Mr Ram said the minister had sent the letter to the Authority.

The Authority had acknowledged the letter on January 15, but replied:

“Regulation 5(1) (d) refers to the suitability and fitness of the applicant to hold a permit. In line with this regulation, the policy of criminal conviction within seven years was formulated and approved by the board.

“This is to ensure that the public service permit holder is a fit person and proper person to manage and look after the affairs of his/her permit.

“It must be noted that the permit holder is managing the permit on behalf of the Authority and is being entrusted with the full responsibility of the safety of the members of the public.

“Furthermore the authority also considers the nature of the criminal records and refers the application to either the chief executive or the board to make decisions.

“In the meantime, the permit cannot be utilised and must be surrendered to the authority until approval is granted from the chief executive or the board.

“The permit holder is always given the option to appeal the decision within 14 days from receipt of the letter.”

Mr Ram said he would now write to the Director of Public Prosecutions Offices for further clarification




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