Sun Insurance lawyers have sought that the court temporarily suspend Section 31 of the Accident Compensation Act as they say that the section contravenes the requirements of Section 27 of the Constitution.
The strikeout application hearing in the case of Sun Insurance Company Limited versus the State continues today before Judge Justice David Alfred.
Sun Insurance is seeking judicial relief for the uncompensated deprivation of its property following the commencement of the Accident Compensation Act enacted by Parliament last year.
Sun Insurance lawyer Julian Moti said that Section 31(1) states that the Motor Vehicles(Third Party Insurance)Act 1948 and the Motor Vehicles (Third Party Insurance) Regulations 1949 are repealed.
Section 27 of the Constitution states that every person has the right not to be deprived of property by the State other than in accordance with a written law referred to in subsection (2), and no law may permit arbitrary acquisition or expropriation of any interest in any property.
Moti says the court has, under Section 44 of the Constitution, the power to redress the section that is unconstitutional.
High Court Judge Justice David Alfred asked Moti if he was calling upon the court to rule that Section 31 of the Accident Compensation Act is unconstitutional because it violates Section 27 of the Constitution.
Moti says the court has the power to make orders that are appropriate which are either to temporarily suspend the Accident Compensation Act or pay compensation to his client.
State lawyer Bhavna Narayan had objected that Sun Insurance had not initially included in their motion that they wanted Section 31 of Accident Compensation Act to be declared null and void, which Moti was presenting in court now. She said they cannot do so at this stage.
Justice Alfred says if he were to rule in favour of what was being suggested, it would open a ‘Pandora's Box’ and the other 4 companies affected by the Act would also seek compensation.
He said the other 4 companies that hold more than 50% of the same business were not complaining.
Justice Alfred then asked Moti what would be the result if he rules in favour of what was being asked.
Moti said it would result in the payment of damages caused by loss of business to his client when the Act came into place.
Justice Alfred will rule on notice.Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.