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Competition Watchdog Ordered To Pay $500

The commission claimed that the Nasinu-based company was involved in a scam after a complaint was received that they were offering to trade-in Hybrid Catalytic Converter or muffler for a free muffler replacement and fitting
18 Nov 2020 09:35
Competition Watchdog Ordered To Pay $500
Court

The Civil High Court in Suva has ordered the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission to pay $500 costs to the director of a local car parts dealer, Japanese Auto Trading.

Director Melvin Pratap, through his counsel, Bhupendra Solanki of Solanki Laws, took the Fijian Competition Consumer Commission to court for defamation.

The matter was called before Justice Lyone Seneviratne yesterday.

On October 30, the commission posted comments about the company on their Facebook page.

The commission claimed that the Nasinu-based company was involved in a scam after a complaint was received that they were offering to trade-in Hybrid Catalytic Converter or muffler for a free muffler replacement and fitting.

On November 10, the company filed the Writ of Summons with the Statement of Claim, a notice of Motion for Injunction and an affidavit in Support of the Injunction.

The documents were subsequently served to the commission two days later.

The commission removed the post.

In the statement Mr Pratap said the commission was reckless, premature, false and unjustified.

In the consequence, Mr Pratap’s business reputation had been seriously damaged and their character, credit and reputation had been brought into public scandal, odium and contempt.

Mr Solanki told the court that he was seeking an injunction restraining the commission from making, publishing or circulating any defamatory remarks about the Plaintiff and his business, Japanese Auto Trading.

Counsel appearing on instructions from the commission told the court that the post had been removed and there was no need to have a restraining order.

Mr Solanki then sought for costs of $2000 and told the court that it was because his client Mr Pratap and his business had suffered a loss and it continued to have an impact on the business.

However, defendant counsel disagreed on the costs and told the court that there was no legal or factual basis existing to grant costs in this action.

Mr Solanki maintained his position for costs and told the court that the defendant removed the post only when the legal papers were served to them.

Justice Seneviratne then granted $500 costs to Mr Pratap.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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