In her judgment on 09 May 2022, Judge Aruna Narain has ended the ongoing issue between the Mauritius Turf Club (‘MTC’) and the Municipal City Council of Port Louis, the Ministry of Lands and Housing and the Gambling Regulatory Authority (‘the Respondents’) concerning the Champ de Mars by refusing to grant an injuction in favor of the MTC.
To recall, on 28 April 2022, the Municipal City Council of Port Louis, on behalf of the State, has terminated its ‘Concession de Privilège’ (‘the Agreement’) and reclaimed the Champ de Mars from the MTC.
With the loss of the exclusive use of the Champ de Mars, the MTC is now unable to organize and hold any horse racing events. As such, the MTC has lodged on 29 April 2022 an injunction at the Supreme Court to prevent and restrain the Respondents from “granting the exclusive use of the Champ de Mars and/or part of the Champ de Mars to any other party”, among other grounds.
The Counsels of the different parties, namely Me. R Pursem for the MTC, while Me. R Gulbul appears for the Municipal City Council of Port Louis, Me. K Naghee Reddy for the Ministry of Housing and Land Use Planning, Me. R Yerrigadoo for the Gambling Regulatory Authority, Me. Z Elahee for MTC Sports and Leisure Limited and Me. A M O Ombrasine for the Ministry of Local Government and Disaster Risk Management have submitted their pleadings to the Judge on 05 May 2022.
After having considered the pleadings of the Counsels, the Judge Aruna Narain has rendered her judgment on 09 May 2022 that an injunction will not be issued in favor of the MTC in its dispute to reclaim the Champ de Mars from the Municipal City Council of Port Louis.
To note, the main bone of contention of the MTC is not the “resumption by the State of its full rights over the Champ de Mars” but rather the termination of its Agreement with the Municipal City Council of Port Louis. As per the submissions on behalf of the MTC, the reclaiming of the Champ de Mars should have been subjected to its rights in line with the Agreement. Therefore, the MTC will lodge a main case against the Respondents under the Public Officers’ Protection Act with regards to its challenge of the termination of the Agreement.
In her judgment, the Judge Aruna Narain stated that the ground of reclaiming the Champ de Mars cannot be considered for this injuction as the land has already been recovered by the State. Therefore, considering the other two remaining grounds of the injunction, she concluded that “withholding the injunction is likely to cause the least irremediable prejudice in the circumstances.”