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Tui Nadi Title Before The High Court Again

This is the case of the late Ratu Kaliova who had been granted a judicial review in 2019 on the appointment and installation of another chief to the position of the Tui Nadi.
21 Sep 2022 10:01
Tui Nadi Title Before The High Court Again
(Left) Tui Nadi, Ratu Vuniyani Navuniuci at the High Court in Lautoka on September 20,2022. Photo: Salote Qalubau

The case in relation to the Tui Nadi title is before the court again.

However, lawyer Isireli Fa who is representing Ratu Asiveni Dawai told the court that his client did not wish to claim the title of Tui Nadi but wanted to substitute the presence of the late Ratu Kaliova Dawai so that the case could proceed.

This is the case of the late Ratu Kaliova who had been granted a judicial review in 2019 on the appointment and installation of another chief to the position of the Tui Nadi.

 

He was able to challenge the decision of the iTaukei Lands and Appeals Tribunal, the iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission’s initial decision to declare Ratu Vuniani Navuniuci – Tui Nadi.

Mr Fa filed an application at the Civil High Court yesterday for Ratu Asiveni to be made a party to the present matter and to carry on the proceedings in substitution of the deceased Ratu Kaliova.

The late Ratu Kaliova was Ratu Asiveni’s uncle. Ratu Kaliova passed away in 2020. The matter was heard before Judge Justice Mohammed Mackie.

 

The Tui Nadi Ratu Vuniyani Navuniuci was represented by Simione Valenitabua while the Attorney General’s Chambers was represented by Josefa Mainavolau.

Mr Fa told the court that his submissions were founded on the privity of the respective title and succession in the iTaukei custom and that the basis of the judicial review was the breaching of certain court orders.

He further said that his application for the substitution of the late Ratu Kaliova’s position must be allowed so that the matter can be determined and a hearing date set by next year.

 

However, Mr Mainavolau responded that Mr Fa’s submissions were misleading. The court heard that Ratu Asiveni stated in the first affidavit, that his late father Ratu Isireli Rokomatu Namulo, his late uncle Ratu Kaliova and he were members of the same iTokatoka Nakuruvakarua.

Mr Valenitabua submitted that Ratu Namulo and Ratu Kaliova are brothers. He said Ratu Namulo was installed as Tui Nadi and it was on this basis that Ratu Asiveni Dawai claimed this relationship, creating a privity of blood which ought to have transferred the title of Tui Nadi to the late Ratu Kaliova and to Ratu Asiveni upon Ratu Kaliova’s death.

 

He submitted that Ratu Kaliova was never installed as Tui Nadi although he had a claim to the title. Ratu Vuniyani was traditionally appointed as Tui Nadi by kingmakers and members of his tribe. However, Ratu Kaliova disputed the appointment.

The court heard that the iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission heard the dispute and determined that, on the evidence available, Ratu Vuniyani was the correct Tui Nadi.

The late Ratu Kaliova appealed to the iTaukei Lands Appeals tribunal however, the iTaukei Lands Appeals tribunal determined that Ratu Vuniyani was the correct Tui Nadi.

 

Mr Valenitabua told the court that Ratu Kaliova instituted the substantive judicial review proceeding in his own name and did not institute a representative claim or action on behalf of his family members.

Therefore this did not in any way expressly assign or transfer his interest in the title of Tui Nadi to Ratu Asiveni.

Mr Valenitabua submitted that Ratu Asiveni appeared to be relying on previous cases which addressed past disputes over the respective title however these previous cases were decided on their own facts and were irrelevant to this current proceeding.

 

He further submitted that Ratu Asiveni did not qualify to be made a party in these judicial review proceedings in substitution for Ratu Kaliova as no interest had been assigned or transferred to Ratu Asiveni therefore he moved that Ratu Asiveni’s application be dismissed with costs.

Mr Mainavolau sought seven days to file his written submissions. Justice Mackie adjourned the matter to October 27.

 

Story By: Salote Qalubau

Feedback: salote.qalubau@fijisun.com.fj



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