Supreme Court Rejects Leave Application


By Theckla Gunga – EM TV News,  Port Moresby

The Supreme Court has rejected leave applications by the State and Police Commissioner, Gari Baki, against two members of the National Fraud and Anticorruption Office, Thomas Eluh and Timothy Gitua to apply for a judicial review.

The application was to review appellant Baki’s decision to dismiss Eluh and Gitua from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, following insubordination charges in 2015.

The court heard that leave was required because decisions in both cases were identified as provisional decisions and did not fall within any of the exceptions contained in section 14, subsection 3B of the supreme court act.

Justice Colin Makail, said the arguments for and against the issue can either be determined on appeal or at the substantive hearing of the application for judicial review.

On 23 September last year, Thomas Eluh was served a Notice of Penalty terminating his services and dismissing him from the Police Force.

This morning, the court heard that Eluh accompanied Gitua and Peter Guinness, another police officer and went to Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill’s residence to serve a letter from former police commissioner, Geoffrey Vaki, inviting the PM to attend an interview at the Fraud Squad Office at Konebodu.

Gitua was also served a Penalty Notice on 28 September, last year for discharging a firearm at Gordons on the night of July 12, 2014.

It was heard that at the time of the dismissals, Eluh was contracted to RPNGC and Baki as the head terminated his services.

Stated in the Police Act, a Police Commissioner has the power to accept or terminate a contract while Gitua was not employed under a contract.

Meanwhile, Justice Colin says the leave application can be determined at the National Court and if a leave was granted at the Supreme level, it would only mean more time and resources will be wasted.

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