THE Supreme Court of Fiji yesterday dismissed an application for special leave to appeal made by Mahendra Motibhai Patel.
In reading out the judgement by Justice Saleem Marsoof, Justice William Calanchini and Justice Suresh Chand, Justice Chand noted a submission by Mr Patel's counsel that what was alleged against Mr Patel was not a serious matter.
"The cases which have considered the offence of abuse of office have established that an officer who accepts an office of trust and confidence concerning the public acts in breach of that trust such officer should be sanctioned in the interests of the public. It is not the degree of seriousness of the conduct that would matter but the conduct itself," he read out.
"For the above reasons, the ground of appeal on the basis that S.111 is uncertain lacks any merit and therefore is not a ground on which the application for special leave can be granted.
"For the reasons set out above, the application of the petition for special leave to appeal is dismissed as the grounds urged for special leave have not met the threshold for granting of special leave in S.7(2) of the Supreme Court Act of 1998/"
Mr Patel was convicted of abuse of office charges on April 13, 2009 and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.
The facts of the case were that between April 1, 2003 and February 29, 2004 while being the chairman of the board of directors of the Post Fiji Limited, he authorised the purchase of an external Seiko clock from Prouds, a company he has significant financial interest in.
Mr Patel appealed for special leave on 15 grounds.
However, Justice Chand said only three grounds were relied upon as the grounds on which special leave to appeal should be granted.
He said written submissions were also made on the grounds of appeal.