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Judgment given in important Privy Council appeal from the Supreme Court of Mauritius

This week, the Judicial Committee handed down judgment in Surendra Dayal (Appellant) v Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and 5 others (Respondents) [2023] UKPC 37, an appeal from the Supreme Court of Mauritius.

The Appellant was challenging the election of the Prime Minister of Mauritius and two other senior politicians to the Mauritius National Assembly on the basis of bribery and treating.

The case raised fundamental questions about the interpretation of the Representation of the People Act 1958 (Mauritius), in particular which deals with bribery and treating.

The Privy Council dismissed the appeal finding that instead of a literal interpretation of the provision, a more flexible approach, tailored to the facts of each case. They stated that the literal interpretation of the Act advanced for Mr Dayal would make it impossible for any candidate to campaign on a general policy that would provide a financial benefit to a group of voters (such as taxation) and that this would undermine the principle Section 46 of free and fair elections.


Timothy Straker KC and Imogen Sadler appeared for Appellant (together with Robin (Nandkishore) Ramburn SC from Mauritius), instructed by A O (Hiren) Jankee as solicitor/agent for the Appellant.

The judgment can be found here

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