EC seeks review of costs decision in Polye case

National, Normal


THE Electoral Commission (EC) of PNG yesterday sought leave from the Supreme Court for a review of a decision by the National Court ordering it to pay 75% of the costs of the court proceedings involving the ousted Kandep Open MP Don Polye.
The court of disputed returns recently declared Mr Polye’s 2007 election win as “null and void”, with fresh election to be conducted.
Counsel for the EC, Ray William of Nonggorr William Lawyers, submitted three grounds before Justice Nicholas Kirriwom for the application.
He stated that the trial judge had not provided any reasons for his decision ordering the EC to pay 75% of the petitioner’s costs.
He also contended that serious errors had been made by the trial judge in the exercise of his discretion in the awarding of costs, claiming “injustice” against the EC.
He pointed out in his submission that immediately after the trial judge handed down his decision in the proceedings on Aug 14, he asked counsel to make submissions on costs.
“After brief submissions, the trial judge ordered that the EC pay 75% (three quarters) of the costs of the petitioner (Luke Alfred Manase).
“The trial judge ought to have asked counsel to take time to peruse the ruling and to come back to court at an appointed time to make submissions on costs. The trial judge could not have done that too because the decision was handed down on Aug 14, and by operation of law, the trial judge would retire on Aug 16,” Mr William submitted, adding natural justice was not accorded to EC in addressing the issue of costs.