Lawyers for embattled television station owner Chandra Narine Sharma have now withdrawn their High Court motion seeking to have certified copies of Sharma’s passport made available for his defence.
The matter was recently called up before Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang, and lead attorney for Sharma, Nigel Hughes, sought leave to withdraw and discontinue the motion.
The Chief Justice granted leave and dismissed the motion, however he did not award any costs to the prosecution.
The Ministry of Legal Affairs in a press statement said that the withdrawal of the motion is “conceding that the motion filed was misconceived”.
The state in an affidavit in answer had submitted that there was no requirement to provide any particulars prior to the commencement of the preliminary inquiry.
The state had also established that Sharma’s passport issued some five years after the offence was committed, contained no immigration exit or entry stamps, on any of the 31 pages.
According to the Ministry, the entire motion was frivolous, vexatious and specious, and was designed and calculated to further delay the commencement of the preliminary inquiry into the charges against him.
Sharma’s lawyers had argued that his right for a fair trial was being infringed because the state had its sole and exclusive custody materials which were necessary for the conduct for the defence.
The motion which was filed stated that “Sharma’s fundamental constitutional right to an adequate time and facilities for preparation of his defence has been and is likely to be infringed by the expedited trial of the charge, when he has not been afforded an adequate time to prepare his defence”.
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