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Stay order bid

Shalveen Chand
Friday, February 14, 2014

THE Fiji Rugby Union has filed a stay of proceedings application in the case brought in by mobile service provider Digicel after rugby's parent body opted to sign a sponsorship deal with the Vodafone consortium.

The case was listed for hearing of submissions yesterday for the injunction sought by Digicel, however, FRU counsel Nilesh Lajendra made an application for a stay of proceedings.

Vodafone lawyer Suruj Sharma informed the court he had also filed an application.

Vodafone and the consortium which includes CJ Patel, Telecom Fiji, Fiji Airways, Fijian Holdings Limited and Home Finance want to be party to the court case as well.

Mr Sharma told the court they were no longer bystanders after signing the contract with FRU.

Digicel was represented by Dr John Turner, a Queen's Counsel from New Zealand.

The stay application was heard before the substantive matter, which was the injunction sought by Digicel and the joint application.

Mr Lajendra told the court Digicel and FRU had clauses in their contract which stated that should there be a dispute between the parties, going to arbitration was the next step.

He said Digicel did not follow the provision and had taken the matter to the court instead.

Dr Turner told the court they had the right to have their matter heard in court and opposed the stay order application.

He told the court that in the longer term they might refer to arbitration but for now they were pursuing an injunction.

Justice Kamal Kumar will make a ruling on the stay application on February 25.

On the application by Vodafone to become a party to the case, Dr Turner told the court their client was opposed to this as well.

Digicel has until next Tuesday to file submissions and Mr Sharma has until Thursday to reply.

Justice Kumar told the court that if the stay was granted then other matters would not be heard but he had asked all counsels to be prepared if his ruling didn't allow the stay.

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