The Fast Track High Court Friday dismissed a preliminary legal argument against a motion by the Attorney General’s (AG’s) Department for the court to strike out the pleadings of 14 lower court judges over the disciplinary proceedings instituted against them.
The AG had filed a motion to strike out the pleadings of the 14 lower court judges on the grounds that their action was frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the process of the court.
But counsel for the judges, Mr John Ndebugri, raised a preliminary legal argument that the application by the AG was incompetent in law by reason of uncertainty.
He averred that the title of the application, which was “motion on notice to strike out the pleadings under the inherent jurisdiction of the court and also under order 11 rule 18 (a), (b) and (d) of C.I. 47”, was wrong in law.
His position was that the application should have been either under the inherent jurisdiction of the court or under Order 11 rule 18, adding that the two could not be joined.
It was also his contention that under the law, the AG’s Department should not have attached an affidavit in support.
But the AG, represented by Mrs Helen Ziwu, maintained that the application was right in law and that under Order 11 rule (a), (b) and (d), it was required to provide an affidavit in support.
Dismissing the argument, the court, presided over by Mrs Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, said a properly drawn application ought to include the two aspects as had been done by the AG’s Department, adding that it was good practice and good sense to invoke both.
She, therefore, ordered Mr Ndebugri to file a response to the motion and adjourned the case to Tuesday, September 29, 2015 to hear their arguments.
The Judicial Council had instituted disciplinary proceedings against 14 lower court judges for allegedly receiving bribes to compromise their decisions, following the exposé by ace undercover investigator Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
However, the 14 dragged the Judicial Council to the Fast Track High Court over the disciplinary proceedings instituted against them.
Among other things, they averred that the Judicial Council’s disciplinary proceedings against them had no legal basis and “in the premises not clothed with jurisdiction to proceed as it is doing and is determined to continue to do”.
Injunction case adjourned
In a related development, the court has adjourned the hearing of an interlocutory injunction brought by counsel for the judges to Tuesday, September 29, 2015.
This was in view of the fact that the AG’s Department only served counsel for the judges with their response to the application yesterday and, therefore, counsel for the judges required some time to respond to the issues therein.
Source: Daily Graphic
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