DIFFAMATION : Rama Valaydon, le Secrétaire Général de la Port-Louis Harbour and Docks Workers Union, réclame Rs 500, 000 à Alain Edouard , Ashok Subron et le Mauricien Ltd.



 

IN THE INTERMEDIATE COURT OF MAURITIUS

 

In the matter of:-

 

Rama Valaydon, a Terminal Superintendent, of corner Petieunias & Glaeiuls Avenue, Morcellement Montreal, Coromandel,

Plaintiff 

Versus

 

  1. Le Mauricien Ltd, having its registered office situate at 8 Rue St Georges, Port Louis, as represented by its director of same address,
  2. Jacques Rivet, service to be effected at c/o Le Mauricien Ltd, 8 Rue St Georges, Port Louis,
  3. Alain Edouard, of 91 Cemetery Road, Port Louis,
  4. Ashok Subron, of N. Robinson street, Curepipe,

Defendants    

 

PROECIPE    

 

  1. The Plaintiff is a Terminal Superintendent at the Cargo Handling Corporation Limited (hereinafter “CHC”) and also the General Secretary of the Port-Louis Harbour and Dock Workers Union (hereinafter “PLHDWU”), a trade union in the port sector.

 

  1. The Plaintiff has been working in the port sector for more than 30 years.

 

  1. The Plaintiff is a person of good character, honour and is well respected as a competent and efficient employee at the CHCL, as well as a long-standing and committed trade unionist, both within his industry and nationally.

 

  1. The Plaintiff also enjoys a good reputation amongst his relatives, friends, and in his community.

 

  1. The first Defendant is the owner of the press, which prints ‘Le Mauricien’, a daily newspaper in wide circulation in print all over Mauritius and abroad. The newspaper is also accessible online.

 

  1. Defendant No 2 is the director of the said weekly newspaper ‘Le Mauricien’.

 

  1. The third Defendant is the President of the Port Louis Maritime Employees Association (hereinafter “PLMEA”), another trade union in the port sector.

 

  1. The fourth Defendant is the Negotiator of the PLMEA.

 

  1. In the issue of ‘Le Mauricien’ of Thursday 22nd September 2011 (the “Edition”) and in the online version uploaded on the same date, there is an unsigned article (the “Article”), under the caption: “SECTEUR PORTUAIRE: Une relation malsaine entre la CHC et la PLHDWU”.

 

 

  1. Extracts of the body of the Article read as follows:

 

10.1       ‘Le Secrétaire de ce syndicat (the PLHDWU), Rama Valaydon, aurait été nommé dans des “conditions   douteuses” en 2009 au poste de Terminal Superintendent General’;

 

10.2       ‘La PLMEA, dernier syndicat du port ā voir le jour, critique les “ privilèges” dont jouirait Rama Valaydon, sécrétaire générale de la PLHDWU’;

 

10.3       ‘Dans un premier temps, le syndicat évoque un bureau mis ā sa disposition dans l’enceinte du Multi-Purpose Terminal. “Ce bureau a été utilisé pour intimider les travailleurs et les menacer de suspension et de licenciement s’ils quittaient la PLHDWU ou s’ils rejoingnaient la PLMEA’

 

10.4       ‘Pour le PMLEA, les documents démontrent qu’Archimede  LECORDIER (the Managing Director of the CHC) a ‘bypass’ les procédures pour créer un nouveau poste au port avec la nomination de Rama Vlaydon en tant que Terminal Superintendent General en 2009’;

 

10.5       Ashok Subron argue qu’un tel poste n’existe pas dans le rapport SRC. Il n’y a eu aucune recommendation dans l’exercise de Job Appeal. Nous n’avons aucune information qu’une telle nomination a été ratifiée dans le board de la CHC. Nous avons constaté que chaque année, Archimède Lecordier a upgrade la position de Rama Valaydon’;

 

10.6       ‘La PLMEA accueille favourablement le depart (of the MD of the CHC) et réclame la nomination d’un nouveau Managing Director. ‘La nomination d’un nouveau MD est extrêmement importante afin de retablir une relation industrielle saine dans le port et pour éliminer cette relation malsaine qui existe, depuis 2008, entre le Managing Director  Archimède Lecordier et une clique de la PLHDWU, en particulier Rama Valaydon”.

 

  1. The Plaintiff avers that the title of the article, coupled with the article as a whole, meant or were meant to impute that:

 

(i)                the Plaintiff has improper links with the Managing Director of the CHC and/or the management of the CHC;

 

(ii)              the Plaintiff was appointed Terminal Superintendent (General), because he was improperly and unfairly favoured by the Managing Director of the CHC;

 

(iii)            the Plaintiff’s current post did not exist in the CHC and was created by the Managing Director for the Plaintiff;

 

(iv)            the Plaintiff’s appointment to his current post was underserved;

 

(v)              the Plaintiff’s appointment to his current post was not in line with procedures at the CHC;

 

(vi)            the Plaintiff’s appointment to his current post was not ratified by the Board of Directors;

 

(vii)          the Plaintiff obtained additional responsibilities and allowances because he was improperly and unfairly favoured by the Managing Director of the CHC;

 

(viii)        the Plaintiff’s additional responsibilities and allowances were underserved;

 

(ix)             the Plaintiff was improperly given the use of an office at the CHC by the Managing Director;

 

(x)               Given the improper links of the Plaintiff with the Managing Director of the CHC and/or the management of the CHC, the Plaintiff has no credibility as a committed trade unionist.

 

  1. The Plaintiff avers that the said article contains improper motives and untrue allegations and/or imputations, inasmuch as:

 

(i)                the post ‘Terminal Superintendent (General)’ is not a new post and/or was not created by the Managing Director for the Plaintiff’s benefit, inasmuch as the term ‘General’ is simply meant to denote duties relating to General Cargo as opposed to Container Cargo within the Multi-Purpose Terminal at the CHC, after the restructuring exercise within the CHC which took place in or about January 2008;

 

(ii)              such a delineation of duties can be seen in the organogram of the CHC found in the Salary Restructuring Committee Report (SRC Report) of 2008, as compared to the organogram found in the preceding SRC Report of 2003;

 

(iii)            the Plaintiff was only offered the assignment of duties as Terminal Superintendent on 16 June 2009, after the recommendations by the Terminal Manager and the Human Resource Department, and after there was a vacancy in that position, in accordance with CHC procedures and practice;

 

(iv)            the Managing Director was not involved in this process to assign the Plaintiff to the post of Terminal Superintendent, except to the extent that he approved the final recommendation of the Human Resource Department, as per his duties;

 

(v)              the Plaintiff was subsequently confirmed in this position on 30 October 2010 by the Board of Directors, following the recommendations of the Human Resource Department, and after due consideration and approval of the Staff Committee, as per the procedures and practice at the CHC;

 

(vi)            the Plaintiff was only assigned additional responsibilities relating to the Empty Container Depot on 14 January 2010, and second, relating to the Claims Handling Unit, Documentation System and Fish Terminal on 5 January 2011, as a matter of course and procedure, and at no point was the Managing Director of the CHC involved in this process, other than to sign off these new assignments;

 

(vii)          the Plaintiff’s predecessor in the post of Terminal Superintendent also had similar duties, such that the responsibility eventually fell to the Plaintiff as a matter of course and procedure;

 

(viii)        the Plaintiff was and is now simply occupying the office of his predecessor, as per the practice at the CHC;

 

(ix)             the Plaintiff is a competent and efficient employee of the CHC and is responsible for the running of one of the most efficient departments at the CHC;

 

(x)               the Plaintiff is a committed trade unionist and in his dealing with the Managing Director of the CHC and/or the management of the CHC as Secretary General of the PLHDWU, the Plaintiff has acted at all times pursuant to the instructions of the Executive Committee of the PLHDWU;

 

(xi)             the Plaintiff has a proper working relationship, and maintains positive industrial relations, with the Managing Director of the CHC and/or the management of the CHC.

 

  1. The Plaintiff avers that by writing and publishing or causing the said article to be published, the Defendants have acted tortiously, imprudently, negligently and/or out of want of caution.

 

  1. Further, the Plaintiff avers that the said article referred to above, does, having regard to the specific context and circumstances, in particularly the purported rivalry between trade unions in the Port Sector, and/or otherwise, constitute a “faute”, and is highly defamatory to the Plaintiff.

 

  1. The Plaintiff avers that the said article is malicious and/or constitute attacks on the Plaintiff‘s character, honour and reputation, and/or was made with a view to causing damages and prejudice to the Plaintiff.

 

  1. The particulars of such “faute”, imprudence, negligence, and/or want of caution of the Defendants are:

 

(i)                writing of the aforesaid article, causing same to be published and distributed nationwide, which said article contain false, malicious and untrue allegations, imputations and/or innuendos;

 

(ii)              the article has portrayed Plaintiff as a dishonest, corrupt, incompetent, unethical and unprofessional person.

 

  1. The Plaintiff avers that, as a result of the publication of the said article, he has suffered damage and prejudice which he assesses in the sum of Rs 500,000/- and which the Defendants are jointly and in solido bound to make good to the Plaintiff.

 

  1. The Plaintiff therefore prays from this Honourable Court for:

 

(i)                a judgment, condemning and ordering the Defendants jointly and in solidum to pay to the Plaintiff the sum of Rs.500,000.- as damages;

 

(ii)              such other order or orders as the Court may deem fit and proper and/or as the justice of the case may require.

 

WITH COSTS

 

Under all legal reservations

Dated at Port Louis, this 5th day of December 2011

PAZANY THANDARAYAN

Of 303-305 Chancery House, Lislet Geoffroy Street, Port Louis

Attorney for the Plaintiff, instructing S. Bhuckory, S.C. and V. Reddi, of Counsel

Posted by on Dec 12 2011. Filed under Economie, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply


Air Mauritius - Financial Results for the 3rd Quarter of financial year 2016-17



Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google

Photo Gallery

Copyright © 2011-2016 Minority Voice. All rights reserved.