Tuesday, December 29, 2015


The deportation is believed to be politically-motivated as the lawyer is friendly with colleagues working on the petition to contest the Presidential election.

A well-known Mauritian lawyer, Sanjay Bhuckory, was refused entry into Seychelles on Saturday night and deported back to Mauritius yesterday morning. This is believed to be a politically-motivated act as Mr Bhuckory, who is better known for having led Mauritius' only legal case that rendered null and void the election of a Member of the National Assembly on the basis of electoral bribery, was also here to visit lawyer friends involved in the opposition's petitions to contest the Presidential election.

Immigration authorities have confirmed the deportation of the lawyer to TODAY but have refused to say why they have refused entry to Mr Bhuckory and his two children who were made to sleep on a bench at the airport.

In an immigration decree handed to him and which the lawyer refused to sign, the reasons given for refusing entry to a citizen of neighbouring island Mauritius which is also a member of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) were that "you have failed to comply to a lawful requirement under the Immigration Decree and you have made false representation and concealed information to an Immigration officer which is relevant for your entry in the country".

A travel agent who had arranged for Mr Bhuckory and his family's trip said she was told by the immigration officer that "the order to deport him came from above".

The travel agent said she contacted Home Affairs Minister Charles Bastienne and asked him not to involve politics in this but that "he never replied to me".

The Immigration Department said they will officially comment today, adding that Mr Bhuckory had "misled Immigration officers at the airport".

Friends of Mr Bhuckory insist that the lawyer, who was planning to spend a few days in Seychelles with his children, has nothing to hide. "Their hotel was booked, they were on a private visit. There was no reason not to allow them in".

Sources say however that people in government had caught wind of the lawyer's visit and that the decision to stop him from entering the country was already made "because they want to hinder the preparation of our petition".

"Except that a person does not need a GOP to come on holiday and that people are supposed to be free to discuss and exchange ideas with one another", the travel agent said.

Rendering an election null and void

In 2008, the Privy Council, which is the highest court of Appeal for Mauritius, upheld a Supreme Court judgment that rendered null and void the election of Ashock Jugnauth to Mauritius' National Assembly. It was a first in the country's history. Electoral bribery is rather common but it was the first time that the matter was taken to court. The plaintiff was a defeated candidate of the Labour party, Raj Ringadoo, who was represented by Sanjay Bhuckory and they sought to prove that Mr Jugnauth’s (who is the half brother of Mauritius' current Prime Minister) election was a result of benefits he gave to people in his constituency in his capacity as a Minister and were in fact acts of electoral bribery. Mr Bhuckory won the case in the Supreme Court and again before the law lords of the Privy Council and Mr Jugnauth's election was duly annulled.

Source:Today in Seychelles