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Tikoca Files Application To Set Aside High Court Judgement

The matter was called for hearing before Judge Justice Vishwa Dutt Sharma at the Civil High Court in Suva.
09 Nov 2021 13:36
Tikoca Files Application To Set Aside High Court Judgement
Ratu Isoa Tikoca.

Ratu Isoa Tikoca has filed an application to set aside an interlocutory judgement issued by the High Court in Suva on November 7, 2019.

Former SODELPA Member of Parliament, Tikoca was ordered to pay $80,000 to the Fijian Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Tikoca was sued by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum for making comments during an interview with a Sydney community radio station in late January or mid-February and the same interview was posted on a Facebook page named “Fiji Exposed Forum”.

Tikoca was ordered to pay Mr Sayed-Khaiyum a sum of $80,000 as compensatory and punitive damages within a time frame of 30 days from the date of this judgment (February 25, 2021).

He was also ordered to render in writing a public retraction and apology in prominent print to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to be published in daily newspapers circulating in Fiji within 14 days’ from the date of this judgment, including the Fiji Times, Fiji Sun and Nai Lalakai, in both English and iTaukei languages.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum is entitled to six per cent interest on the sum of compensatory and punitive damages awarded from March 21, 2019, to the date of this judgment (February 25, 2021).

Tikoca is also ordered to pay Mr Sayed-Khaiyum a sum of $5000 as summarily assessed costs of this action within 30 days’ time frame from the date of this judgment (February 25, 2021).

The matter was called for hearing before Judge Justice Vishwa Dutt Sharma at the Civil High Court in Suva.

In court yesterday, Tikoca’s lawyers Sevuloni Valenitabua and Ratu Isoa Tikoca Junior told the court that they filed a writ of summons to seek the judgement in default to be set aside.

Their application was based on the allegation that the Interlocutory Judgment was irregular in terms of service and in terms of pleading. 

Tikoca’s solicitors also took issue with the disclosure of without prejudice letters.

Tikoca denied that he was personally served with Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s Writ. 

On the other hand, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s solicitors, Devanesh Sharma and Gul Fatima submitted that the service was valid and the pleadings were not defective as alleged. 

They also took issue with the fact that Tikoca’s Summons was itself irregular and defective and that there had been inordinate delay in bringing the application. 

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s solicitors also submitted the latest case authority on the issue of without prejudice communications. 

The parties are given seven days to file supplementary legal submissions and the matter has been adjourned for mention on November 17.  

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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