Court Rejects UPNG SRC Application

By Vasinatta Yama & Serah Aupong – EM TV News, Port Moresby

An urgent application involving University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) Student Representative Council (SRC) President, Kenneth Rapa, and the UPNG SRC versus Vice Chancellor, Professor Albert Mellam, Police Commissioner, Gari Baki, and others was heard this afternoon before Judge David Cannings.

Yesterday, students requested for an ex parte hearing (a hearing without the opposing party present) with Judge Cannings to obtain a restraining order to remove police from campus.

Judge Cannings opted for an in parte hearing and ordered that all parties be served with the notice.

Today, he rejected the application on lack of evidence provided.

“There is insufficient evidence before the courts to demonstrate which particular rights of students have been breached,” Judge Cannings said.

After making this decision Judge Cannings said the police must be reminded of their constitutional duties to maintain peace and order and students to not resort to violence.

Cannings said the SRC is free to bring the matter back to court after they collect enough evidence to support their allegations of suppression of freedom of expression.

SRC lawyer, Robby Yasan said after the hearing that he will be back either tomorrow or the day after to pursue the matter.

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