NEWS

Court to deliver strike out application ruling on notice

Mr Samisoni is seeking orders from the court to invalidate the Vaccine Regulations, deem his termination letter dated August 13, 2021, null, void and of no effect and issue an injunction against the termination of workers under the ‘No Jab, No Job’ policy.
10 Feb 2022 11:27
Court to deliver strike out application ruling on notice
John Samisoni (right) with lawyer Vilisoni Filipe outside Court in Suva on February 8, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Civil High Court of Suva will deliver its ruling on notice for an application to strike out former Top Manager of Hot Bread Kitchen, John Samisoni’s Constitutional Redress.

Mr Samisoni has filed a lawsuit against his mother’s business Hot Bread Kitchen after he was fired for refusing to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Samisoni is seeking a declaration that Regulations 52 (C) and 52 (D) of the Health and Safety at Work (General Workplace Conditions) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 contravenes Sections 11 (3) and 26 (3) (a) of the Fijian Constitution.

He contends that his dismissal for refusing to receive the first dose of the vaccine by August 1, 2021, contravenes his right to freedom from scientific or medical treatment or procedures without his informed consent.

Also, he submits that his dismissal contravenes his right not to be unfairly discriminated against based on his health status; specifically his vaccination status.

Mr Samisoni is seeking orders from the court to invalidate the Vaccine Regulations, deem his termination letter dated August 13, 2021, null, void and of no effect and issue an injunction against the termination of workers under the ‘No Jab, No Job’ policy.

Furthermore, he is seeking an order for an injunction to stop the use of the vaccines until the final determination of the case.

The matter was called for hearing on Tuesday for the application to strike out the matter filed by Devanesh Sharma from R Patel Lawyers as counsel for Minister of Health and Medical Services, Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, and the Attorney-General.

Mr Sharma filed his submissions and highlighted to the court that Mr Samisoni was issued with a termination letter on August 13, 2021.

He said the law stated that for the safety of the people at the workplace, one must be vaccinated, however, no one was forced to take the vaccine.

He said in the pandemic, every workplace was bound to be a safe place for the safety of all workers.

He said if Mr Samisoni felt his termination was unfair, he should have made the right application under the Employment Relations Act to the Employment Relations Court.

He further told the court that in Fiji, over 90 per cent of people were vaccinated and Mr Samisoni made the deliberate decision not to take the vaccination after the regulation was enacted and gazetted in July 2021.

Mr Sharma said the reliefs sought by Mr Samisoni could not be granted and sought that the court dismissed Mr Samisoni’s application.

Hot Bread Kitchen’s lawyer David Toganivalu also submitted his submissions and relied on the same.

Mr Samisoni’s lawyer Vilisoni Filipe told the court that the legislation affected Mr Samisoni’s and the effect of it was his termination.

He said the vaccination was a choice, however, it was an ultimatum under the Act that if one did not get vaccinated, they would not have a job.

He relied on his submissions filed.

Chief Justice Kamal Kumar will deliver his ruling on the strike-out application on notice.

Feedbackashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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