NATION

Judge Refuses Application For Recusal

The lawyer for the former director of Professional Stationeries, Shalendra Kumar, made an application for recusal yesterday. Kumar appeared before Justice Salesi Temo at the High Court in Suva. He
20 Jul 2018 10:10
Judge Refuses Application For Recusal

The lawyer for the former director of Professional Stationeries, Shalendra Kumar, made an application for recusal yesterday.

Kumar appeared before Justice Salesi Temo at the High Court in Suva. He was represented by Reginald Harper.

Kumar is charged with one count of obtaining financial advantage by deception.

Between January 1, 2010 and May 31, 2010, while being the director, Kumar allegedly caused payments amounting to $34,236.77 to be made to Professional Stationeries.

As a result of his conduct he allegedly obtained a financial advantage of $34,236.77 from the Public Works Department knowing that they were not eligible to receive the said financial advantage.

Mr Harper forwarded an application for Justice Temo to recuse himself from the case, however Justice Temo refused his application.

Mr Harper submitted his application on the ground that Justice Temo could potentially be biased because he was involved in other matters of the case.

Justice Temo responded and said the judiciary was trained to be neutral because every case was treated with fresh eyes. He stated that applications for recusals was a way to avoid judges and get judges who counsels think would be sympathetic to their cases.

Justice Temo reiterated that lawyers, who applied for recusal must have facts strong enough to make a judge stand down.

Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption lawyer Anaseini Lomani appeared for the prosecution.

Justice Temo dismissed Mr Harper’s application because factual grounds were not present and that the law would agree with him.

The case has been adjourned to September 28, 2018 for written reasons to be given. Kumar’s bail has been extended.

Edited by Percy Kean

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