Inspector Dussoye’s Constitutional Right Not Undermined
20 September 2014 - Défi Media Group
Magistrate Prithiviraj Balluck sitting at the District Court of Port Louis (South) has last week ruled out the motion raised by a Police Inspector, Balmick Dussoye, for a stay of prosecution on a charge of non-registration of a vehicle he bought.
The accused stood charged for the offence of failing to register as the new owner of the motor vehicle within the prescribed delay in breach of the Road Traffic Act. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was represented by counsel. On 11 February 2014, when the case came for trial, his counsel moved that the proceedings be permanently stayed due to: (i) the undue delay in bringing this case to trial is in denial of the accused’s constitution right as guaranteed under section 10(1) of the Constitution as the offence dates back to 2005 and the accused was first interviewed in 2007, and (ii) the state of affairs of this case amounts to a clear abuse of the process of the Court in as much as the alleged offence is a mere contravention and therefore cannot be complex. The prosecution objected to the motion and the matter came for arguments.
Chief Inspector Mamodkhan, one of the inquiry officers, deposed by detailing the event as from the date of the complaint up to the date the case was lodged that is 19th April 2013. The witness stated that in December 2008, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) advised that the accused should be prosecuted in respect for the above charge. He could not explain why from December 2008 up to 30 September 2009 the case was not lodged against the accused. In July 2009 the accused wrote a letter to the Office of the DPP wherein he gave his version to the charge. Accused received no answer. On 16 June 2011 he sent another letter to the office of the DPP. The file was sent to the Central CID on the 17 August 2011.
Thereupon accused gave his statement of defence. In the meantime the Complaint Investigation Bureau (CIB) conducted an inquiry. When the file was being handed by the CIB, accused did not refuse to give his statement but he kept postponing the date to give his defense statement go the police. In his ruling the Magistrate ruled out the motion and ordered that the case be proceeded for trial. “This court is of the considered view that the present case does not fall into the category of cases mentioned above,” the Magistrate concluded.