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DPP’s Application for Judicial Review Against Presidential Pardon of Chandra Prakash Dip Dismissed

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In a judgment handed down on Wednesday afternoon, Justice Mohammud Iqbal Maghooa dismissed the DPP’s application. Chandra Prakashing Dip was found guilty and sentenced to one year’s imprisonment on 19 December 2018 for having deliberately and illegally agreed with other persons, in June 2008, to commit an unlawful act, i.e. to defraud the firm Diadeis Mauritius Ltée of the sum of 3 million rupees. 

His appeal against this sentence had been dismissed in February 2021.He subsequently applied to the Privy Council. On 18 November 2022, his first application was rejected. On the same day, he made a new application to the same body. 

On 27 December 2022, the Commission for Prerogative of Mercy converted his sentence into a fine of Rs 100,000, which was paid two days later. It was not until 9 January 2023 that the Commissioner of Police informed the DPP, for the first time, of the conversion of the sentence by the Appeal Commission. 

Since then, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has taken legal action to challenge this decision.

On Wednesday, Judge Mohammud Iqbal Maghooa dismissed the DPP’s appeal. He explained his decision in 5 points. Firstly, he pointed out that it was not for the court to give directions to the Clemency Commission and that by the time the Commission for Prerogative of Mercy reached its decision, the application to the Privy Council had been withdrawn. 

He also pointed out that the substitution of sentences is well established in the Mauritian judicial system. The judge also found that the requests made to the Commission went beyond or were different from the judgments and sentences. Finally, he concluded that the Commission had not acted against any law or the Constitution.

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