Crime & Court

Non-Essential Business Charged For Opening Shop

Magistrate Somaratne remanded the two for sentencing today. (Monday May 17).
17 May 2021 11:13
Non-Essential Business Charged For Opening Shop
Exotic Fiji limited employees Harrish Kumar (covering his face) and Joshua Colo at the Magistrate’s Court in Suva on May 16th 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Despite Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 protocols being announced that nonessential services must be closed, Exotic Fiji Limited kept their shop open.

At the Magistrate’s Court in Suva, yesterday Exotic’s manager Harish Kumar appeared before Magistrate Shageeth Somaratne for the charge of operating a nonessential business.

Kumar told Magistrate Somaratne that they had been operating even after the closure of such businesses was directed on April 26 by the Ministry of Health.

Kumar and sales assistant Joshua Colo were arrested on May 14 from the shop located at Usher Street after a police saw them opening the main door to allow customers in and out of the shop.

The men pleaded guilty to the charge of failure to comply with lawful orders.

Magistrate Somaratne said the two were employees and the instructions for operations to continue must have come from the owner.

Kumar told the Court that Nitin Prasad was the owner of the company.

Kumar further said he was the sole breadwinner for his family and was remorseful.

Colo said he was a law student and working part-time to support his family.

He said he had no say in the operations of the business and was mainly following instructions from the bosses.

He asked the court not to enter a conviction as it would deny him a chance of being admitted to the bar.

Magistrate Somaratne remanded the two for sentencing today. (Monday May 17)

Edited by Losirene Lacanivalu


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