The Attorney General (AG) has won a case in which an employee of Techno Brain dragged him to court to compel government to bring the employee before the court.
The employee, Prakash Naidu, was required to surrender office spaces, passwords to some computers and other gadgets to government after the AG Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda on December 7 2021 terminated a passport contract Techno Brain had with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services.
But following government’s insistence that he surrenders what government demanded, including a data centre for e-passport under the contract, Naidu applied for judicial review in the High Court, which was granted.
And before the application for the judicial review was heard, Naidu went to court again, where he filed another application to seek the court’s order to compel government to bring him before the court.
But delivering his ruling on Friday, Justice Annabel Mtalimanja dismissed Naidu’s application, arguing it was an abuse of the court process as he already had another matter before the court where leave for judicial review was granted.
The court learnt earlier that Naidu, a technical consultant based at MTL Data Centre in Lilongwe, was literally under detention (house arrest) as government agents went to his house and have not allowed him to leave the home.
His lawyers, Ian Malera and Liphar Imran, told the court six Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services employees trespassed onto their client’s premises at River Villa, Area 9 in Lilongwe on January 8 2022 and asked for his cooperation on the demand to hand over the facilities to them or risk deportation.
They further argued the apparent detention which has seen police officers surrounding his house to demand specific performance of a contractual obligation and restricting his movements, without any warrant, is a violation of his rights.
Naidu, the court learnt, asked the officers to speak to his superiors as he was only an employee, arguing he could not do so without their authority.
But a senior State advocate Trevor Mphalare, representing the AG, argued Naidu’s application was an abuse of the court process as there was already another matter before the High Court in which he sought judicial review of government’s decision to force him to surrender office spaces and other equipment.
He, therefore, asked the court to dismiss the application.
In dismissing the application, Judge Mtalimanja agreed with Mphalare that the applicant abused the court process.
She said it appeared that issues that were raised before her had not been brought to the attention of the judge in the judicial review matter.
Techno Brain, through their lawyers Anjarwalla & Khanna, is protesting the termination of the contract.
They wrote protest letters on December 17 2021 to Immigration, with copies to the AG.