The National, Monday February 24th, 2014
THE National Court last Friday threw out a contempt case against Police Commissioner Toami Kulunga, pictured, because court documents were not properly served on him.
Justice Colin Makail ruled that the service of court documents to the Police Commissioner’s secretary did not constitute a proper service within the National Court rules.
“Where the alleged contempt is against the Commissioner of Police, the documents must be served on him in person,” Makail said.
Kulunga took issue with service of the motion, statement of charge and affidavit for contempt claiming that they were not served on him.
The matter related to Kulunga’s failure to comply with a court order issued on Oct 1, 2012, by Justice Nicholas Kirriwom.
Former deputy police commissioner Geoffrey Vaki filed the judicial review on the termination of his employment with the police force naming former Police Commissioner Gary Baki, the National Executive Council and the State as defendants.
The order upheld Vaki’s application for judicial review, quashed the decision of the National Executive Council to revoke Vaki’s appointment as Deputy Police Commissioner (Operations) and ordered his reinstatement.
Vaki claims he served the documents on Kulunga’s secretary at police headquarters, Konedobu, in Port Moresby on Oct 16, 2012.
Vaki’s lawyer, Sam Bonner, told the court that the service of documents on Kulunga’s secretary constituted “service”.
However, Kulunga’s lawyer submitted that in compliance with the National Court rules, service of the documents must be done by personal delivery.
Makail said if Vaki was having difficulty serving the documents on Kulunga, then Vaki should have applied for leave of the court to serve by alternative means, possibly on Kulunga’s secretary.