Electoral Offender Sentenced and Barred from Voting

Media Team   |   17 Apr 2019

A man convicted of electoral offences was given a custodial sentence and had his voting privileges barred in the Suva Magistrates Court on 5 April 2019.

Mr. Rajnil Pratap Sobha was sentenced to 22 months imprisonment with one (1) year to be served in custody and the remaining 10 months suspended for five (5) years.

He was also disqualified from being registered as a voter or voting in any election for five (5) years.

In delivering the Sentence, Resident Magistrate Mr. Kashyapa Wickramasekara said that the offences of the Accused were a serious threat to the democratic process of elections in Fiji.

Furthermore, he declared that it undermined the whole system and could have damaged the public trust on the democratic election system of the country and put the whole process into disrepute.

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) had charged the Accused last June with one (1) count each of False Declaration on an Application for Voter Registration, False Declaration on an Application for Replacement of Electronic Voter Registration Card and Applying to be Registered as a Voter on More Than One Occasion.

He pleaded guilty last October and admitted to breaching provisions in the Electoral (Registration of Voters) Act 2012 and the Electoral Act 2014 on three (3) different occasions in Ba, Nadi and Suva between July 2016 and October 2017.

Mr. Sobha had registered to be a voter in Ba using a false name and date of birth and then proceeded to use this false information and declaration to be issued an upgraded voter card in Nadi, before finally using his real name to register as a voter in Suva.