The High Court of Fiji in Lautoka has struck out and dismissed the application by the trustees of ATS Employees Trust, including Viliame Finau and Jai D Singh, against the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji, the Attorney General on behalf of the Permanent Secretary for Economy, ATS Limited and the ATS company secretary.
ATS Employees Trust had alleged in it’s application that the re‑assignment of 51 percent of the shares of ATS from CAAF to the Government of Fiji in 2009 was in breach of the articles of association of ATS, the articles of association of ATS which expressly permitted the removal of directors of ATS was oppressive and prejudicial to ATS Employees Trust and that the removal of Jai D Singh, Manasa Ratuvili and Kevueli Tunidau from the board of directors of ATS was illegal, oppressive, null and void.
In its ruling, the Lautoka High Court Judge held that ATS Employees Trust’s application was a case which was both “bad in law” and “weak on evidence”, and struck out and wholly dismissed the application by ATS Employees Trust.
With respect to the claim against the re‑assignment of 51 percent of ATS shares from CAAF to the Government, the High Court noted that ATS Employees Trust was aware as early as October 2009 of the re‑assignment, and that the Employees Trust did not raise any objection to the re‑assignment since October 2009.
The High Court also noted from the evidence that ATS Employees Trust had accepted and acquiesced to the re‑assignment.
The High Court further held the re‑assignment of shares from CAAF to Government did not change the shareholding of ATS as it was only an internal arrangement between two government entities which was legal and approved by Cabinet. The High Court affirmed that Government is still the majority shareholder and that the majority shares are now held by the Ministry of Economy on behalf of Government instead of CAAF.
In response to ATS Employees Trust’s claim against the removal of Jai D Singh, Manasa Ratuvili, and Kevueli Tunidau from the ATS Board of Directors, the High Court held that the removal of directors was done in accordance with the Articles of Association of ATS, which was formulated when ATS was formed in 1980.
In striking out and dismissing the Employees Trust’s application in its entirety, the High Court ordered the Trust to pay costs to CAAF, the Attorney General, ATS, and the ATS company secretary in the sum of $4,000.Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.