Connect with us


FCC Act Under Fire: Former DPP Boolell’s Bold Bid for Change



FCC Act Under Fire: Former DPP Boolell's Bold Bid for Change
Image source: Defi Media

In a significant development, former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Satyajit Boolell, Senior Counsel, has filed a constitutional petition with the Supreme Court seeking to declare the Financial Crimes Commission (FCC) Act as unconstitutional.

According to Boolell, the law contravenes Articles 1, 3, and 10 of the Constitution, as it allows the FCC to initiate prosecutions without prior consent from the DPP.

Boolell, who served as DPP from 2009 to 2022, argued that the FCC Act undermines the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.

He claimed that the law creates a risk of political interference in judicial proceedings and erodes procedural safeguards in criminal cases.

In his petition, Boolell requested that the FCC obtain approval from the DPP before initiating investigations, particularly those initiated by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (Icac), similar to the procedure under the Prevention of Corruption Act (POCA), which was repealed when the FCC Act came into effect.

The petition named the State as the primary respondent, with the Attorney General cited as co-respondent.

The FCC is also listed as a party interested. The matter was heard before Chief Justice Bibi Rehana Mungly-Gulbul on June 24, 2024. Boolell is represented by Senior Counsel Sanjay Bhuckory, Vimalen Reddi, and Vijay Kumar Dwarka, Senior Attorney.

The matter was adjourned to July 8, 2024, to allow parties concerned to file their responses.

In his petition, Boolell highlights his own experience when he was summoned by Icac in July 2015 in connection with the “Sun Tan” case.

He is suspecting that there were ulterior motives aimed at removing him from his position at the time.

Boolell had previously occupied the post of DPP for over a decade and had obtained an injunction to stop Icac’s investigation. In 2023, the FCC replaced Icac with the coming into effect of the FCC Act.

The former DPP apprehends political influences due to the political mode of appointment of the FCC’s Director-General.

Additionally, ongoing Icac investigations now under FCC’s jurisdiction will no longer benefit from the previous guarantees under POCA.

According to Boolell, the FCC Act violates Articles 1, 3, and 10 of the Constitution by removing independent review of files by the DPP.

He requested that Articles 142 and 168(2) of the FCC Act be declared unconstitutional.

This development raised significant concerns about the independence of institutions and the protection of individual rights in Mauritius.

The outcome of this petition will have far-reaching implications for justice system and may ultimately shape the course of future criminal investigations and prosecutions.

Source: Defi Media

Spread the News
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *