The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) today charged the Minister for Education for corrupt practices under Electoral Act No 11 of 2014.
Mr. Mahendra Reddy appeared before Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili at the Suva Magistrates Court represented by Mr. Pravesh Sharma and Mr. Reddy Nandan.
Mr. Reddy is charged for one count of “Bribery” contrary to Section 140 (2) of the Electoral Act No.11 of 2014 and one count of “Undue Influence” contrary to Section 141 of the Electoral Act No.11 of 2014.
It is alleged that Mr. Reddy in May this year in the Western Division, in order to influence the vote of a School manager, directly conferred or offered to offer a benefit namely a steady water source for the School.
It is also alleged that Mr. Reddy interfered with the free exercise or performance of a political right of the School Manager that is relevant to the 2018 Election.
FICAC Counsel, Mr. Rashmi Aslam informed Court that full disclosures have been served to the Accused person.
The charges were read to the Accused, who understood and Pleaded Not Guilty to both the counts.
Prosecution did not have any objection to bail.
Mr. Reddy was released on bail bond for a sum of FJD $500.00 after two sureties was produced. He is to report to the Nabua Police Station once a week at any time from 8am-6pm. He is not to change his residential address and surrender all traveling documents to the Court registry. A stop departure has been issued accordingly.
The Prosecution requested that the matter be disposed promptly in accordance with section 18 A of the Electoral Act. The Defence was given 14 days to inform the court of their stand on the caution interview.
The matter has been adjourned to 19 July 2017.
The Complaint was referred to FICAC by the Secretary to the Electoral Commission pursuant to section 18 of the Electoral Act.