A final appeal has been lodged to challenge this country’s sedition law.
A motion for conditional leave has been filed by lawyers representing Vijay Maharaj, son of former Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) secretary-general Satnarayan Maharaj, to take the case before the United Kingdom-based Privy Council.
Vijay’s attorneys are claiming that three Court of Appeal Judges got it wrong when they recently overturned a High Court Judge’s decision to strike down aspects of the legislation which he ruled were unconstitutional.
The application will now have to be considered by a fresh Court of Appeal panel before the final appeal is filed before the Privy Council.
The appellate panel ruled that the legislation was exempt from judicial intervention as it was legitimately protected by the constitutional saving clause, which protects similar pre-Independence legislation from review.
The late Sat Maharaj filed the lawsuit in 2019, after police executed search warrants on the SDMS’s media house, Central Broadcasting Services Limited (CBSL), after he made a series of incendiary statements on his Maha Sabha Strikes Back programme on TV Jaagriti on April 15 of that same year. Maharaj had claimed that citizens living in Tobago are lazy and labelled the men as rapists.