Acting Chief Justice, Kamal Kumar has declared High Court Judge Salesi Temo’s order to quash the magistrates decision in sentencing 47 people who were arrested for breach of COVID-19 restrictions as NULLITY and not to be followed by the Learned Magistrate.
In his ruling Justice Salesi Temo set aside the conviction against 19 year old Eileen Anderson and also ordered a review of fines imposed on 47 of the 51 people whose convictions were called before his court.
Pursant to Section 260-2 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 he could exercise his discretion to review the Learned Magistrate’s decision upon receipt of report under the hand of the Chief Justice which requires that such action be taken.
According to the Acting Chief Justice, he did not provide any report for Judge Temo to review the magistrate decisions.
Judge Temo did so without consulting his office and they only became aware of that decision when it was published in the media after those decisions were reviewed.
Since no report was given by the Acting Chief Justice to review the matters, it lacked jurisdiction to conduct the review.
The Acting Chief Juctice has conducted a review of all the files that were subject to Temo’s judgement and identified files in which sentences passed by the Learned Magistrate that need to be reviewed.