7 Oct 2004

Fiji High Court upholds axing of mayor

8:59 am on 7 October 2004

In Fiji, the High Court has upheld the ministerial sacking of the mayor of the country's second city, Lautoka.

The minister for local government, Mataiasi Ragigia, had sacked Labour Party mayor, Rajendra Gounder, for abuse of office.

Mr Gounder then sought a review of the minister's decision but the Lautoka High Court said it saw no reason to overturn it

As a result, the minister has overturned all decisions made by Mr Gounder, which includes the reinstatement of the suspended town clerk, Pusp Raj, and two other staff.

Mr Ragigia says he will institute an inquiry into the affairs of the council since Mr Gounder became mayor and warned the council would be dissolved if discrepancies are found.

Meanwhile, Mr Gounder is also facing charges of assault, damaging property and using indecent language in the Lautoka magistrate's court