JUGEMENT DU JUGE BALANCY : «Nandanee Soornack can have no reasonable expectancy of Privacy»

SN 57/13 (WI 4610) IN CHAMBERS

In the matter of:

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF MAURITIUS

Applicant

Mrs Nandanee Soornack

v

1. Le Mauricien Ltd, publisher and printer of weekly newspaper “Week-end” and also printer of daily newspaper “Le Mauricien”
2. Jacques Rivet, Director of Respondent No. 1
3. La Sentinelle Ltée, publisher of daily newspaper “L’Express” and weekly newspaper “L’Express Dimanche”
4. Denis Ithier, Directeur Général of daily newspaper “L’Express” and weekly newspaper “L’Express Dimanche”
5. Raj Meetarbhan, Editor in  Chief of daily newspaper “L’Express”
6. Rabin Bhujun, Editor in Chief of weekly newspaper “L’Express Dimanche” of 3, Rue des Oursins, Baie du Tombeau

Respondents

JUDGMENT

1. INTRODUCTION

On 5 January 2013, Honourable S.B. Domah, J., sitting in Chambers, entertained an application made ex parte by the applicant and, in an order bearing the same date, granted an interim injunction “prohibiting and restraining the respondents forthwith, either individually or severally from publishing or allowing or causing to be published in the above mentioned newspapers, in any manner whatsoever, anything against Applicant and Applicant’s family for the protection of applicant’s right to privacy and the right of privacy of Applicant’s family”. He declined to extend the order to the business activities of the applicant, as prayed for in her praecipe. The order was served on the respondents who were on 8 January 2013 represented before him by their legal advisers. Mr D. Basset, S.C. appeared together with Mr. N. Patten for the respondents Nos. 1 and 2 instructed by Mr Attorney Guy Rivalland, S.A. and Mr M. Ahnee appeared for the respondents Nos. 3 to 6, instructed by Mr. Attorney F. Hardy. Mr. Y. Mohamed S.C. appeared for the applicant, instructed by Mr. Attorney C. Mallam Hassam.
In a ruling dated 10 January 2013, the learned Judge rejected the motion of the respondents that the interim order be discharged and explained the scope of that order in the following words: “My order was that the Press is entitled to publish matters which relate to applicant’s public activities but it should exercise restraint in publishing matters which relate to her rights of privacy and the rights of privacy of her family.”
On 18 January 2013, the learned Judge decided to abstain from hearing his case any further on the ground that press coverage from some of the respondents and those supporting their position in this case had tended to put in doubt his integrity, impartiality and independence in handling this case.
I was then designated by the Honourable Senior Puisne Judge to take over and continue this case. The question I have to decide at this stage is whether, in the light of the affidavits and other evidence produced by the parties, the interim order should be made interlocutory pending the determination of the main case which has been lodged by the applicant before the Supreme Court and is in the process of being set in shape in view of an eventual trial.
I am in presence of written submissions filed by Counsel on both sides and I have also heard short supplemental oral submissions mostly by way of reply to some of the written submissions.

II.  LIMITED ROLE OF JUDGE  IN CHAMBERS ACTING ON AFFIDAVIT EVIDENCE IN AN APPLICATION FOR AN INTERLOCUTORY ORDER

I agree with the submission of Mr. Y. Mohamed Q.C., Counsel for the applicant, that at this interlocutory stage I am not called upon to resolve conflicts of evidence on affidavits as to facts on which the claims of either party may ultimately depend nor to decide difficult questions of law which call for detailed argument and mature consideration. This is indeed well established in the leading case of American Cyanamid Co v Ethicon Ltd [1975 AC 396]. I accordingly propose to confine myself to those facts which are not in dispute and to propositions of law which appear to me to be well-established.
Counsel for the applicant has referred to a publication in lexpress.mu, the internet version of I'express, by respondent No. 6 where, in his submission, respondent No. 6 has acted in breach of the interim order which prohibited further publication on applicant's private life. An explanation has been given in that connection in the affidavit of respondent No. 4 dated 16 January 2013 where we read at paragraph 5 the following –

“5  [...] regarding the unedited version of the editorial of L'Express Dimanche dated 6th January 2013,1 aver that:
5.1 The version published in L'Express Dimanche newspaper (Annex 7) was partly obliterated in order for the publication to comply with the Order served upon the respondents on 5th January 2013.
5.2 The same version was sent to the sub-contractors of Respondent No. 3 in India responsible for uploading the contents of lexpress.mu website. Through a technical problem the full version of the editorial was published on the website instead of the edited version.
5.3 The said full version was visible on the website for only a few hours and was replaced by the edited version as soon as the technical problem was noticed."
In the light of the explanation given, and having regard to my inability to decide, on affidavit evidence, on the question of alleged bad faith consisting in a deliberate breach of the interim order, I do not consider that it would be appropriate for me to take into account the impugned publication in the exercise of my discretion as to the grant of the equitable remedy prayed for. The applicant will be free, of course, to pursue any action in reparation which she may be advised to enter, based on the contention that the article has been wrongfully published.

III. REQUIREMENTS FOR GRANT OF INTERLOCUTORY INJUNCTION UNDER CLASSIC FORMULATION IN AMERICAN CYANAMID CASE

In accordance with the general approach laid down in the American Cyanamid case (supra), a Judge hearing an application for an interlocutory injunction pending the determination of a main case in Court must decide whether the applicant has a serious issue to be tried in Court and whether the balance of convenience lies in favour or against the granting of the interlocutory order, having regard to the extent to which the party who eventually wins in the main case could be adequately compensated in damages following an interlocutory order unfavourable to him.

IV.  THE MORE STRINGENT REQUIREMENT IN APPLICATIONS FOR STOPPAGE OF ALLEGED LIBEL

However, it is well-established that in applications for injunctions in cases of libel (defamation in written form) the threshold requirement is not merely to show «a serious question to be tried»  but in fact to show that there is actual probability of success in the main case. That approach is laid down in Cream Holdings Ltd v Banergee [2004 UKHL 44]  where the House of Lords held that the applicant must in most cases advance a case which will probably (“more likely than not")  succeed at trial.
In Martha Greene v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2004 EWCA CIV 1462], the Court has made it clear that the rule in Bonnard v Perryman [1891 2 Ch. 269] which was laid down by five judges, including the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls, still holds good. According to that rule, the Court should «in all but exceptional cases» refuse to issue an interlocutory injunction to restrain the publication of a libel except if it was clear that the defence to the libel would fail. In Martha Greene (supra), the Court referred, at paragraphs 51 ff. of its judgment, to five cases where the rule in Bonnard v Perryman (supra)  had been authoritatively stated. The following two quotations at paragraphs 51 and 52 are particularly noteworthy:
51. [...] In Fraser v Evans [1969 1 QB 349] Lord Denning MR said at pp. 360-1:
«The Court will not restrain the publication of an article, even though it is defamatory, when the defendant says he intends to justify it or to make fair comment on a matter of public interest. This has been established for many years ever since Bonnard v Perryman. The reason sometimes given is that the defences of justification and fair comment are for the jury, which is the constitutional tribunal, and not for a Judge. But a better reason is the importance of the public interest that the truth should out ...… There is no wrong done if it is true, or if  [the alleged libel] is fair comment on a matter of public interest. The Court will not prejudice the issue by granting an injunction in advance of publication.
52. In Herbage v Pressdram Ltd [1984 1 WLR 1160] Griffiths L. J. restated the effect of the rule and then said (at p. 1162 H):
«These principles have evolved because of the value the Court has placed on freedom of speech and I think also on the freedom of the press, when balancing it against the reputation of a single individual  who, if wronged, can be compensated in damages».
In Bérenger v Moorba and anor [1982 Mr 162],  those principles were applied in Chambers by Glover J. The learned Judge cited, inter alia,  para. 167 of Halsbury’s Law of England v Libel and Slander, which reads as follows:
«167. Because of the Court’s reluctance to fetter free speech and because the questions that arise during the proceedings, such as whether the meaning is defamatory, whether justification or fair comment are applicable and as to malice, are generally for the jury, interlocutory injunctions are granted less readily in defamation proceedings than in other matters and according to different principles. An injunction will be granted only if the plaintiff can satisfy the Court that any jury would say that the matter complained of was libellous and where, if it did not so find, the Court would set aside its verdict as unreasonable.»
The learned Judge, after referring to the quotation form Lord Denning in Fraser v Evans  reproduced above, mentioned that the latter Judge further justified the principle in Woodward v Hutchins [1977 2 All ER 751] in the following terms:
«The reason is because the interest of the public in knowing the truth outweighs the interests of the plaintiff in maintaining his reputation.»
The learned Judge (Glover J) then concluded as follows:
«What all this means is that unless the judge is dealing with an atrocious libel requiring immediate stoppage, which is so self-evident that no jury, or in Mauritius no trial Court sitting and hearing witnesses, can possibly find that there is any valid defence to the main action, then and only then will an injunction lie, when it is asked for ex parte as in this case, or where an interlocutory order is prayed for.»

V. THE THRESHOLD TEST TO BE APPLIED IN THE PRESENT CASE

I agree with the submission of Counsel for the respondents Nos. 3-6 that the present application is mostly based on fear by the applicant of further alleged libel of her own self. I also bear in mind that applications for stoppage of libel may be disguised as applications for stoppage of intrusion into private life more generally. As G. Robertson points out in Media Law,  5th edition, paragraph 5-027:
«courts should be alive to the possibility that the claimant has dressed up what is in reality a defamation action as a confidentiality or privacy claim».
In the present case I agree with the submission of Counsel for respondents Nos. 3 to 6 that the application is essentially aimed at stoppage of alleged libel of her own self on the part of the respondents. Accordingly I consider that the appropriate threshold test to be applied is that stated in Cream Holdings Ltd v Banergee (supra), namely that the applicant must show that the is more likely that not to succeed at trial. It is noteworth that in his written submissions Counsel for the applicant referred to the test in Cream Holdings Ltd v Banergee (supra)  as being the applicable threshold test in the present case and went on to submit that the applicant has satisfied that test. During the supplemental oral submissions, Counsel for respondents Nos. 3 to 6 drew attention to that, and there was no attempt on the part of Counsel for the applicant, by way of reply, to say that this was not or not exactly his stand.

VI. HAS THE APPLICANT SATISFIED THE THRESHOLD TEST?

In order to decide whether the applicant has satisfied the threshold test I must look at the contents of the plaint with summons which she has lodged before the Supreme Court, and decide, in the light of the affidavit and other evidence placed before me, viewed in the light of the law relating to the rights in conflict in this case and the submissions offered by Counsel on both sides, whether that test has been satisfied.

(I) The contents of the plaint with summons

In her plaint with summons dated 17 January 2013 the applicant avers that she is a business person and has worked as an agent of the Labour Party during general and municipal elections but maintains that she is not a public figure such as to warrant an intrusion in her private life and that of her children. She complains of specified publications in the respondents' newspapers which have, in her contention, falsely and malicious belittled her in the eyes of the public as having obtained all sorts of favours in the capacity of supposed "deuxième dame de la république." She further avers that in the press articles in question, the respondents have embarked on a crusade against her and also her children which constitute an intrusion in her private life and her family. She complains that the names of her children have been published in detail and that one of her children who is under age can be the subject of harassment at school from pupils which will prove traumatising.
She then expresses the fear that the respondents will publish further material concerning her business and private life and alleges that Respondent No.6 deliberatedly flouted the interim order issued by Honourable Domah J. in Chambers by a publication on lexpress.mu. She also complains of some specified comments made "imprudently" by the respondent No. 5 on Radio Plus on 10 January 2013. At paragraph 17, the applicant avers that Honourable Pravind Jugnauth, Leader of the M.S.M., has been stating publicly that she has obtained favours from the Prime Minister and that this allegation is "of the fantasy of politicians and has no basis in actual fact". At paragraph 25, the applicant avers that the respondents have been manifestly making an abuse of the freedom of the press and of expression by an unjustified intrusion into her private life. Hence, at paragraph 27, the applicant's prayer (qua plaintiff in the plaint with summons) that the respondents be ordered by way of perpetual injunction not to further publish and/or cause and/or allow to be published "any material concerning her private life and that of her family in their daily or weekly papers or on any website."

(II)      The relevant law concerning freedom of expression and of the press and the protection of a person's privacy

I must now turn to the relevant law relating to the freedom of expression and of the press on the one hand and the protection of a person's privacy on the other.
It is beyond dispute that freedom of expression is a fundamental requirement of a democratic state. Section 12(1) of our Constitution provides for the protection of freedom of expression in the following terms:
"Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, that is to say, freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference, and freedom from interference with his correspondence."
In section 12(2), a proviso is however laid down in relation to the limitations which may be legitimately established in the law for the purpose of protecting, inter alia, “the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons or the private lives of persons concerned in legal proceedings.”
The right to the protection of private life is itself established under article 22 of our Civil Code which is similar to article 9 of the French Civil Code and which reads as follows:
«Chacun a droit au respect de sa vie privée. Les jurisdictions compétentes peuvent, sans préjudice de la réparation du dommage subi, prescrire toutes mesures {…} propres à empêcher ou faire cesser une atteinte à l’intimité de la vie privée.
Ces mesures peuvent, s’il y a urgence, être ordonnées par le juge en Chambre.»

Article 12 of our Constitution is a reflection of article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights and the protection of the private life of an individual is ensured in Article 8 of the same Convention. Both in England and in France the Courts have aligned themselves with the jurisprudence of the European Court in relation to those two rights which are provided for in the European Convention.

(iii) Reconciling the above two rights in case of conflict
In relation to Article 9 of the French Civil Code, we read in Jurisclasseur, Notarial Répertoire, 2011, at the beginning of Fascicule 15 dealing with “vie privée” under Art.9 of the French Civil Code, the following:

“POINTS-CLÉS”
{…}
4.La théorie de l’abus de droit ne trouve pas véritablement application en matière de droit à la personnalité (V. n° 38 à 40) dont le contrôle est assuré par la technique de la balance des intérêts
{…}
7.L’atteinte à la vie privée est justifiée par l’exercice de la liberté d’expression lorsqu’elle est nécessaire à la compréhension d’un évènement public, d’un fait d’actualité ou d’un débat d’intérêt général (V n° 85 à 89) avec lequel la personne concernée est en lien direct (V n° 90 à 94). Bien que nécessaire, la violation de la personnalité peut être injustifiée lorsqu’elle est disproportionnée en ce qu’elle se double d’une atteinte au principe de dignité (V n° 95 à 99).
It is also appropriate to reproduce the following note from the body of the text that follows:
83. {…} La systématisation de la jurisprudence permet d’observer que, poursuivant la logique de la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme, la Cour de Cassation admet qu’une atteinte à la vie privée par la liberté d’expression peut être justifiée lorsqu’elle est nécessaire et proportionnée.

(iv) Conclusion as to whether the threshold test has been satisfied
Upon an application of the relevant principles of law to the present application, I have come to the conclusion that the applicant has failed to show that she is more likely than not to succeed in the main case on the basis of the following considerations:
(1) Although there are many conflicting affidavit averments, the indisputable facts of this case are sufficient for the determination of the question whether the applicant has satisfied the above threshold test.

The relevant indisputable facts appear to me to be as follows:
(a) The press has already published, rightly or wrongly, a mass of material of a nature to create public concern about the circumstances in which the applicant has, apparently through her intimate connections, within the realm of her private life, with a high profile politician, obtained favours at the hands of state-controlled agencies which have led her, within a relatively short time, to move from a relatively modest condition to that of a very successful business woman. And the applicant’s business and private life have already become a subject of public debate in the medias.
(b) The applicant is a political activist of the Labour Party. She has worked as an agent for that party during general and municipal elections and was a registered agent of the party at the last Municipal Elections when she participated in the political campaign. She was involved in a public incident of a political nature at a public place during the recent municipal elections. That public incident, in the course of which she herself, rightly or wrongly, seized the mobile phone of her political opponent and handed it to the police, led to the immediate transfers of two senior police officers and was the subject of a Private Notice Question by the Leader of the Opposition at the National Assembly where the Prime Minister gave a number of details concerning the incident as a result of a question from the Leader of the Opposition.
(c) Honourable Pravind Jugnauth, a former Minister of Finance and leader of the political party M.S.M., has already been reported in the press as having made allegations in a statement given to the police -
(i) that the applicant has benefited from undue political influence in the allocation of contracts from institutions controlled by the State and that he received instructions in that connection, in his then capacity as Minister of Finance, from the Prime Minister;
(ii) as to the nature of the extra-marital relationship existing between the applicant and a high profile politician who was the author of the undue political influence referred to above.
I open here a parenthesis to indicate that I reject the motion of Counsel for the applicant that any reference to the statement given by Honourable Pravind Jugnauth in the affidavit of respondent dated 16 January 2013 be discarded on the ground of hearsay. We are not concerned with the truth of the allegations but with the mere fact that the allegations were made, that fact being itself relevant to the determination of the present application, such that the rule against hearsay is not applicable at all.
(d) As mentioned in part VI (i) above the Honourable Pravind Jugnauth, former Minister of Finance and Leader of the political party M.S.M. has, according to the applicant herself in paragraph 17 of her plaint with summons, been stating publicly that she has been obtaining favours from the Prime Minister.
(2) Having regard to the indisputable facts stated above, it appears to me that, except in relation to her minor child - a consideration with which I shall deal thereafter - the applicant can have no reasonable expectancy of privacy in respect of all aspects of her private life which are linked to the indisputable facts related above. This appears to me to be in line with the qualification of his interim order by learned Judge Domah when he explained that it only meant that the Press "should exercise restraint in publishing matters which relate to her rights of privacy and the rights of privacy of her family." (emphasis added).
In the light of what I view above as the indisputable facts, I consider that the present case is clearly one where "l'atteinte à la vie privée est justifiée par l'exercice de la liberté d'expression" inasmuch as it is "nécessaire à la compréhension d'un fait d'actualité" and a “débat d’intérêt général” with which the applicant has a "lien direct". No particulars have been given of the further "atteinte" to her private life which she fears at the hands of the respondents and the applicant has not established, in my view, any likelihood of disproportionality between the further publication feared and the legitimacy of the "atteinte" to her private life. The applicant has not, moreover evoked nor established any likelihood of an atteinte to her "dignité humaine" in the restricted sense which is attached to this word. (See Notarial Répertoire, Vie Privée, Fasc. 15 at notes 96, 98, 99 and 100).
(4) I also agree with the submission of Mr. D. Basset, S.C., Counsel for the respondents Nos. 1 and 2, that the fact that the injunction has been asked against only two groups of the press (as represented by the respondents), leaving the rest of the media free to publish the kind of material which the applicant fears the respondents may publish, is an indication that the applicant has not even any serious question to be tried. At the very least, it indicates an element of incongruity in the relief sought in terms of its efficiency in preventing the nuisance feared.
(5) I do find substance too in the submission of Mr. M. Ahnee for the respondents 3 to 6 that the scope of the perpetual orders sought in the main case is much too wide to be contemplated. Admittedly, there has already been some publication in relation to the applicant's private life. And the Court could only contemplate the prohibition of specific information upon carrying a balancing exercise between her right to have such specific information unpublished and the freedom of the press. For instance, in the case of Rocknroll v News Group Newspaper Ltd [2013 EWHC 24 (Ch) ] cited by Counsel for the applicant, the Court was asked to prohibit the publication in the Sun Newspaper of specific photos showing the applicant half naked which had been taken at a private fancy dress party and had been posted on the facebook account of a guest. This enabled the Court to perform the balancing exercise. The absence of specification as to which specific aspects of the applicant's private life and as to which private information the "perpetual injunction" should apply, will, in my view, make it impossible for the court to carry the appropriate balancing exercise between the applicant's rights to privacy and the freedom of expression enshrined under section 12 of the Constitution. It is apposite here to refer to the following passage from Lord Denning in Leary v BBC, unreported, September 29, 1989, CA, quoted in A v BCD [2003 EWHC 165 (QB):
“I am very concerned that no-one should think on a speculative basis you can go to the courts and call upon the publisher of printed material or television or radio material to come forward and tell the court exactly what is proposed to do and invite the court to act as a censor. This is not the function of the Court."
(6) In my view, there can hardly be any issue to be tried in Court in the main case in relation to the grant of a perpetual injunction since any decision taken on conflicting evidence tested in Court will only be as to whether any publication already made is defamatory or not or whether the truth lies in the applicant's version of a particular incident or in another reported version. In other words, only past publication will be on trial and, in the absence of specification by the applicant of the precise part of her private life which she wishes to be protected, there can hardly be any serious issue to be tried in relation to the propriety of a perpetual injunction in relation to future publication.
The considerations set out above, in fact lead me to the conclusion that the applicant has not only failed to satisfy the relevant threshold test but has even failed to show that she has a serious issue to be tried.

VII. WOULD THE APPLICANT HAVE PASSED THE BALANCE OF CONVENIENCE TEST ?

In the light of my conclusion that the applicant has failed to pass the relevant threshold test, this application for interlocutory relief cannot succeed. In any event, had I concluded that the applicant has passed that test, I would have still turned down the application inasmuch as the balance of convenience would clearly have been in favour of the respondents, having regard to the respective weight of each of the two conflicting rights at stake and the adequacy of damages consideration.
In a case where the privacy interest at stake is the keeping of an important secret, there may be an argument for saying that if the applicant succeeds in the main case, damages will not be an adequate remedy because the damage done by the revelation of such a secret may well be irreparable. However where a claimant, as the applicant in the present case, essentially complains of harassment, defamatory and insulting remarks, she could, in my view, be more adequately compensated by damages in the event that she ultimately wins the day.

The following extract from J. Spelman v Express Newspapers [2012 EW HC 355 (QB)] at paragraphs 110,111, is in point:

"110. In a case where the principal privacy interest at stake is the keeping of a secret, there is often a strong argument for saying that damages will not be an adequate remedy. Once a secret is known, that knowledge will not be an adequate remedy. Once a secret is known, that knowledge cannot be covered up.111. However, there are privacy claims where the main issue at stake is intrusion, injury to feelings and other distress. In such case the position is less clear in relation to damages. The law commonly gives compensation for distress and injury to feelings, including in a libel action. The fact that a threatened defamatory publication would be highly distressing has never been considered a good reason for granting an injunction."

On the other hand, should the interlocutory injunction be granted and the respondents eventually win the day, the constitutional freedom of the press which is part of the constitutional freedom of expression enshrined in our Constitution, will have been to a good extent withheld over a substantial period of time. That would also mean that the corollary right of the public to receive information would have been to a good extent thwarted over the same period of time. And damages would not be an appropriate nor practical remedy for the respondents or for the readers of their newspapers, especially as news is generally a perishable commodity.

In "Media Law", 5th Edition, by G. Robertson Q.C. and A. Nicol Q.C., the learned authors have the following to say at para 1-022:

"The European Court of Human Rights in 1991 held that the continuing injunction on publishing Spycatcher in Britain long after it had become a best-seller in other countries was an infringement of the Article 10 guarantee of freedom of expression.

A narrow majority of the judges was not persuaded, however, that Article 10 prohibited prior restraint in all circumstances, at least when governments were concerned to protect security information that had not seen the light of day. But it did acknowledge that:

«… the dangers inherent in prior restraints are such that they call for the most careful scrutiny of the Court. This is especially so as far as the press is concerned, for news is a perishable commodity and to delay its publication, even for a short period, may well deprive it of its value and interest».

VIII. CAVEAT: SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS IN THE CASE OF THE MINOR CHILD

In Jonathan Spelman v Express Newspapers [2012 EWHC 355 (QB)] the Court said at paragraphs 53 and 54:

53. «Children enjoy no general right to privacy simply by reason of their age. But the law has always recognised that in particular circumstances children may be entitled to protection from publicity where an adult would not be.

[…]

54. As Lord Clarke said in Murray:

«45. … The fact that he is a child is in our view of greater significance than the judge thought. The courts have recognized the importance of the rights of children in many different contexts and so too has the international community

[...] More specifically, clause 6 of the Press Complaints Commission Editors' Code of Practice contains this sentence under the heading children ....If a child of parents who are not in the public eye could reasonably expect not to have photographs of him published in the media, so too should the child of a famous parent."

In the present case, the two children of age of the applicant cannot enable her to have a claim to an expectation of privacy concerning them. I however feel that some concern is justified about the minor child of the applicant in relation to whom some details, including her full name and date of birth have been published. Bearing in mind Article 16 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, I can see no positive contribution that can be made at this stage, to the public debates which have arisen, by further publication in relation to that minor child. And although there is no real indication that the respondents intend to publish anything further about that child, I am of the view that, as a measure of precaution, the respondents should be restrained from doing so.

IX. MY ULTIMATE DECISION

In the light of my above conclusions, despite the qualification made by Domah J on 10 January 2013 of his interim order dated 5 January 2013, I shall, to avoid any ambiguity, discharge the interim order made on 5 January 2013 in its form and tenor.

On the other hand, in the light of my above conclusions in relation to the applicant's minor child, I make an interlocutory order restraining the respondents from publishing or causing to publish anything further about the minor child of the applicant pending the determination of the plaint with summons dated 17 January 2013 entered before the Supreme Court by the applicant.

Having regard to the circumstances surrounding this application, I make no order as to costs.

E. Balancy
Judge

6 February 2013.
 

Commentaires

Thank you Judge Balancy and "LONG LIVE THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND FREEDOM OF THE PRESS".People who used their children for their defence where there are Big Money involved must be sick and a shame in our society.Hope to see Justice done and all those who are involved in this "SAGA" must be severely punished by the court."LONG LIVE THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS".Thank you.

The transfer of Two Seniors Police Officer in regards to that matter..
was not the First time happening in Moritius
Ages Ago Becose of Politicians in Power So many Times Have Witnessed Haut Grade de La police Got Transferred..For Political reasons or Seriouly Order not Executed..as a matter of fact The Leader of The opposition in GooD faith against Corruption and in his Agenda for PNQ
When Reading thru Your Declarations in that matter I Think it Was Time for the law To have Someone of Your Eminency "de faire La Lumiere eclairee sur Cette Affaire"..Time of Beleif has Come Who Knows More to Come for Our GooDneSS

Bravo Mons.le Juge

Mes Confidences!

Back in 1923 Lord Hewart said: "A long line of Cases shows that it is not merely of some importance but it is of fundamental importance that JUSTICE should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done." We all can see justice in that judgement.

Very sincere congratulations to Judge Balancy for his very wise and consequently balanced judgement. He has acted as a modern-day King Solomon whose judgement is still quoted as an ideal example of a judge displaying wisdom in making a ruling. With such men, there is hope for the Judiciary in Mauritius.

Back in 1923 Lord Hewart said: "A long line of Cases shows that it is not merely of some importance but it is of fundamental importance that JUSTICE should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done." We all can see justice in that judgement.

Very sincere congratulations to Judge Balancy for his very wise and consequently balanced judgement. He has acted as a modern-day King Solomon whose judgement is still quoted as an ideal example of a judge displaying wisdom in making a ruling. With such men, there is hope for the Judiciary in Mauritius.

la justice a triomphe.

Bravo au Juge Balancy et a son jugement. Les Mauriciens ont le droit de savoir comment une personne a pu amasser une telle richesse en si peu de temps. Il est grand temps que les politiciens saches que nous les jeunes nous avons marres des rodeurs-boutes, des colleurs l'affiches et agents politiques qui profitent et qui pillent nous les mauriciens a travers des contrats douteux grace a ces memes politiciens. Merci Monsieur le Juge grace a vous le judiciaire respire, car il nous a fait douter a un moment de l'impartialité de nos institutions.

LORD DENNING in LEARY v BBC (1989) : ".. No Should .. go to the Court and .. invite the Court to act as a censor..."