Digbeejaye Koonjul v The Republic of Mauritius - 569/15


Communication 569/15: Digbeejaye Koonjul v. The Republic of Mauritius

Summary of the Complaint

1. The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Secretariat) received a Complaint on 15 June 2015 from Mr Digbeejaye Koonjul (the Complainant). The Complaint is submitted against the Republic of Mauritius, which is a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (the African Charter). 

2. The Complainant states that he has been convicted and sentenced to a jail term of 38 years, for the offence of murder under the Constitutional law of Mauritius. He asserts that his conviction was in breach of Section 222 of the Mauritian Criminal Code in relation to the penalty for murder.

3. The Complainant submits that the Complaint is based on the fact that there had been a serious miscarriage of justice at the trial and appeal hearing of the Complainant, thereby breaching his fundamental human rights.

4. The Complainant submits that he was initially sentenced to 30 years imprisonment by the Court of Assises on 27 July 2007 for the offence of murder, even though he had pleaded 1 not guilty', following which he appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Mauritius on the basis that there was a substantial miscarriage of justice. The Director of Public Prosecution cross appealed. Apart from dismissing his appeal, and allowing the cross-appeal, the Complainant avers that the Appellant Judges on 25 February 2010 also increased his sentence to 38 years.

5. The Complainant states that he thereafter on 14 March 2011 applied to the Supreme Court for conditional leave to appear before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The Complainant avers that the application was refused by the Supreme Court of Mauritius, and submits that "the mathematical reasoning of the Supreme Court together with the interrogatory answer at the end of the judgement leaves the clear impression that the court was sitting on appeal against its own judgement instead of examining the question which ought to be submitted for determination by the Judicial Commitee.