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Eastern European Engineering Ltd v Patel and Ors (MA 171 of 2021)  SCSC 9 (12 January 2022);
The Applicant/ Plaintiff has filed a Plaint against the Respondents/Defendants in which it claimed that the latter, in their capacities as directors, has caused multiple frivolous, vexatious and spurious court applications to be brought by the company Vijay Construction (Pty) Ltd before various court of Seychelles in order to contest an arbitral award. The Applicant/Plaintiff alleges that as a result of that they have committed a faute in law for which they are jointly and severally liable to the Plaintiff.
The Respondents/ Defendants denies the Plaint and in answer avers that the Defendants has a right to utilise all avenues permitted by law to challenge any arbitral award and its enforcement if they consider that it was manifestly unfair and wrong.
This case has been fixed for hearing on the 11th of March 2022; this was done with the approval and consent of counsel who was standing in for counsel for the Plaintiff and in accordance to available dates in her diary.
In the motion before the court, the Applicant is now saying that this hearing date has to be vacated and earlier hearing date be fixed because, unless the case is heard before the 11th of March, the Respondents will continue to abuse the court process by authorising the filing of various applications in order to stay the execution of the court judgment that enforced the arbitral award.
I have thoroughly considered the facts and circumstances of this case and the submissions of counsels. Having done so I find that the hearing as fixed is not one that can be considered unreasonable in terms of its timing given the fact that some civil hearings fixed at the same time as this one last year have been fixed by the Supreme Court at the end of this year given the constraint in our diaries.
Secondly, I find that access to justice is a constitutional right in our Constitution. A person cannot be barred from bringing or defending a civil case before any courts or tribunals of this country. His or her only constraint to do so is set out by the law and the Rules of the courts and it would be up to each litigants to take legal objections in a particular case if he or she feels that a case cannot or should not proceed to a hearing. This should be done ad hoc and should be subject to specific court orders. A blanket interdiction to sue or defend a suit would be in the context as raised in this case be manifestly unconstitutional and void.
It is for these reasons that I find that the reasons put forth by the Applicant for an earlier hearing date is untenable and devoid of merits. I accordingly dismiss it, with cost in favour of the Respondents.
Signed, dated and delivered at Ile du Port on 12th January 2022.