Rajendra Chaudhry accused of maligning the judiciary0
8:40 Sat Apr 12, 2014Self-exiled Rajendra ChaudhryTaken from/By: FacebookReport by: Shanal Sivan
Alleged offensive comments made on social media against the judiciary by Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry’s son Rajendra are being studied for possible defamation and contempt of court by the Fijian government.
Self-exiled Rajendra Chaudhry, who left for Australia after getting suspended as a lawyer in Fiji, frequently posts offensive Facebook comments against many Fijians including members of the government. His latest attack is against the judge who presided over his father’s conviction last week.
FBC News came across Rajendra Chaudhry’s recent Facebook post in which the suspended lawyer not only questions Justice Paul Madigan’s independence, but also accuses the judge who convicted his father last week of being bias and making wrong legal decisions. The self exiled Chaudhry also uses abusive language against the judge and accuses him of judicial misconduct.“Criticizing a judge or the judges ability, or the judges integrity in a public way, in a way that the law says is calculated to lower his authority in the minds of the public then you may well have a contempt of court issue on your hands.”There is no maximum jail term for contempt. It’s left to the courts that decide on the sentence.
Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says they are for the first time studying how to deal with such offences committed on social media sites.“Law regarding proceedings emanating from comments made in social media and has ofcourse developed in recent times, recently. So we are currently studying that, and ofcourse its always the responsibility of the attorney general to ensure that the integrity of the judiciary is not in any way maligned.
”Khaiyum says there has been a recent successful conviction in a similar case in Australia this year. The Sydney Morning Herald reported the case of a NSW school teacher who took a former student to court for defaming her on Facebook and twitter. The court ordered the student to pay $105,000 for defamation.“Whether its contempt or not obviously at the end of the day, that decided by the courts, whether they’ll be a contempt proceedings initiated by this office, we obviously are studying that at the moment, and we’ll see what happens.”There could soon be convictions in Fiji relating to defamation, contempt and slander relating to comments made on social media and it’s now up to the law to decide how to deal with the lawyer who was suspended for professional misconduct for five years. – See more at: http://www.fbc.com.fj/fiji/19113/rajendra-chaudhry-accused-of–maligning-the-judiciary#sthash.iq7DP9Vk.dpuf