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Paul Lismore

[Paul Lismore] LUXURIOUS ABSURDITY


Rédigé par Paul Lismore le Jeudi 28 Mars 2019

LUXURIOUS ABSURDITY: WHEN JUDGES BENEFIT MORE FROM OUR GENEROSITY THAN EVEN OUR USELESS PAST AND PRESENT HEADS OF STATE



We have all read the Audit Report (well, only a few of us have read it, as Lepep kouyon is apparently more interested in tales of 'jambes en l'air...), and again we have come to the conclusion that the annual exercise of the Chief Auditor produces nothing that we did not already know before: that our lives are run by incompetent, corrupt thieves who commit their crimes safe in the knowledge that nothing will happen to them; that there will be no legal and criminal actions against ineptitude and waste on such a massive scale that one can safely conclude that embezzlement of public funds is one of the main motivating factors behind such incompetence.

And thieves in high places never face the wrath of an equally inept and blind justice system in Mauritius, and can therefore continue their life of depravity and acquisition of stolen riches with impunity.

Every year, it is the same thing, except that the waste of taxpayers' money continues exponentially. One is reminded of the aphorism regarding our serviteurs du pays that dealing with only one unlucky thief means that Ali Baba will still have not only the remaining 39 ones, but that there will be a mad rush for replacement of the one who was more stupid than the rest in getting caught.

But to get back to the gist of this post: I have often written about the fact that most of us can expect only a maximum of HALF of our salary as pension when we retire.

A handful of people who were nominated for very short stints as President or Vice President of our island benefit instead of TWO THIRD salary as pension until the day they die, and, to make matters worse, they do not pay even one cent in Income Tax, whereas the rest of us who go over the fiscal thresh hold will have to pay tax on our pensions.
But there is a class of people in our democracy who receive a FULL pension when they retire, together with other privileges. In other words, if the salary of Matadeen as Chief Judge in his final year was Rs 300,000 per month, then he will receive Rs 300,000 a month as pension! And there is more... his pension as ex Chief Judge goes UP every time there is an increase in sitting judges' salaries as recommended by the PRB!

I dare say the poor man and other ex Judges will not have any problem paying Rs 200 for a pound of fresh tomatoes until the day they dies. People like Victor Glover are now earning in pension money a lot MORE than they used to get as salaries...

I do not know whether ex Chief judges get the housing allowance when they retire of around Rs 25,000 a month, but I insist that the poor souls, who might end up living in hovels, ought to continue receiving this!
Come on people! That is just not good enough for serviteurs du pays at the top of our justice system!

So, our politicians have dug deep in our pockets and given them an official car, every THREE years siouplai, whilst letting them buy another one at duty free prices if they wish. Now, if you are given a limousine, your precious arse will demand a chauffeur too, non? So, we have generously given them driver's allowances too, and I know that a few of the retired gentlemen prefer to drive their own machines...whether they still claim the chauffeur's allowance or it is automatically added to their pension, who knows?

Do they live in poverty with that little pension and privileges? Of course not! They earn fat fees in their old age from what is known as private arbitration, another can of worms to put it mildly...

BTW, the above applies to ALL ex Judges, not just the senior ones who have retired.
Our new Chief Justice, Eddy Balancy, is apparently 'bouillonant d'idees' and wants to " « faire avancer le judiciaire de façon incroyable » and that can only be a good thing. I am pleased that he has realised that " des fois, certains détails dans les procédures retardent l’administration de la justice.... qu’il y a « des mauvaises procédures qui retardent la justice et qui empêchent une bonne justice »." But has he realised this only when he became Chief Judge? What has stopped him from voicing those concerns in the past, concerns that tally with the feelings of most of us re the (mal)administration of justice in our island?

But if cases take far too long to complete, if there are too many delays often created by lackadaisical lawyers or those who have taken on far too many cases, who is ultimately responsible for this sad state of affairs?

I am afraid it is the people at the top, from the Chief Judge, Senior Puisne Judge, judges, and magistrates, the people in charge of the administration of justice. There is nothing stopping a judge from holding in contempt any lawyer who does not turn up in court, or who keeps asking for postponements for no valid or genuine reasons.

And we all know that the people often responsible for taking too long to give their verdict, a delay of years often, are the judges themselves, something which the Privy council has diplomatically commented upon...Including in a few cases, Eddy Balancy himself...

So, good luck to Eddy Balancy in his new found zeal to " geri ban fay la ziska ki sistem la vinn satisfezan ou sinon parfe ». If he means what he says, then we must all wish him good luck, because there are bound to be 'institutional handicaps' on his path. 
But if the will is there, that can only be a good start.


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