Monday, August 4, 2014

Undemocratic! Unconstitutional! Unlawful!

On Wednesday at State House Mohan Burhan was sworn in again as a Supreme Court Judge. The oath of office was taken before the President of the Republic in the presence of Chief Justice Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, the President of the Court of Appeal, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Attorney General and others holding senior offices in the country.

In 2008, Mohan Burhan returned to Seychelles and was appointed as an expatriate Judge of the Supreme Court for a period of five years. This contract came to an end in 2013 and Burhan stayed on to complete cases he had before him. We now know that he applied for naturalisation last year and was granted Seychellois citizenship in November, 2013. However, there was never any notice of this application in the Nation newspaper or in the Official Gazette as required by law.

The way that Mohan Burhan has been granted citizenship is with direct interference of the Executive in the Judiciary. It is a clear favour handed down to the Judge by the President in our opinion. It is not in the spirit of the Constitution and it is totally against democratic norms. This situation puts in jeopardy any matter before the Judge that the government might have an interest in, it places the other party at a disadvantage and justice cannot be administered under such presumptions.

 This is another case where the Executive has done what they want without respect for the laws of Seychelles. It is another matter that must be tested in the Constitutional Court. This newspaper is appealing for mass action against this appointment and the granting of citizenship to Mohan Burhan. We are already in discussion with legal experts to challenge the matter in a court of law.

Source: Seyweekly