The National, Tuesday 4th June 2013
IJIVITARI MP David Arore’s application in the National Court to dismiss an election petition against him was refused last Friday.
Justice Colin Makail found that the petitioner John Warisan had met all requirements of law despite the issues of late service and correct occupation of the attesting witnesses.
Makail allowed the petition to proceed to trial saying Warisan had met the directions of the court in bringing the petition to trial while Arore had failed to defend it in the early stages of the petition.
“In my view, gross injustice would occur if the petition is dismissed at the preliminary hearing stage because of a procedural defect, which does not adversely prejudice the respondents in the defence of the petition noting again that the first respondent had been served and failed to attend the preliminary hearings right up to the date of hearing of the application for summary judgment,” Makail said.
Earlier last month, Makail had refused an application for summary determination or judgment by Warisan on the question of whether the petition was properly before the court.
Last Friday, the judge administrator of election petitions found the petition to be proper although he noted the issues of late service of the petition on Arore and attestation issues.
Firstly the court noted from submissions by Arore that the petitioner served the petition two days after the required 14 days had expired on Sept 10 last year.
Arore was declared MP for Ijivitari in Northern on July 20, 2012 and was Minister for Higher Education, Science, Research and Technology.
But he was sidelined by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill when he was implicated with allegations of corruption and bribery during the last election against two electoral officials early this year.
Warison filed the petition on Aug 28, 2012 and served it on Arore on Sept 12, 2012.
Makail found that he was two days late by then.