23 Oct 2020

State loses appeal against Fiji teacher acquittal

6:10 am on 23 October 2020

Fiji's Director of Public Prosecutions has lost an appeal in the High Court against the acquital of a teacher charged with assault.

The case against the school teacher was thrown out by the magistrate's court last week.

Sheenal Lal was alleged to have inflicted corporal punishment on a student at Penang Sangam Primary School in 2018.

The trial could not proceed in February this year after the nine-year-old child involved in the case refused to answer any questions in court.

no caption

Photo: 123RF

On Wednesday, the prosecution filed two grounds of appeal, one of which the magistrate refused to hear an application that a screen be placed between the child and Ms Lal.

The State had also claimed the magistrate didn't give adequate opportunity to the prosecution to adjourn the matter.

But the high court ruled that at no time did the prosecution move for an adjournment and dismissed the State's appeal.