Country
Fiji
Sources
InforMEA
Tagging
Air pollution, Damages, Inspections, Licences, Injunctive Relief, Remedies, Jurisdiction, Property, Human Rights, Permits
Abstract

Twenty residents living close to a site where the company Safeway Electronics operated sent a letter with complaints to the Nasinu Town Council. In the letter, they explained that they had been victims of illegal activities of the company for nearly two decades. The activities mentioned included littering, oil spills, emission of toxic fumes and noise pollution, risking the health and safety of the residents. The complainants moreover meant that the installation of a bowser on the nearby road caused long queues blocking the road. They also meant that a conflict near the bowser had resulted in the murder of a youth.

Legal action had been taken several times against the defendants and his different actions. The activity had nonetheless in most cases continued. The residents now finally wanted the defendant to be removed from their residential area.

A health inspector was sent to the site and noted that no proper waste disposal techniques were used causing environmental pollution and oil spills, smoke emissions, dumping leading to the collection of water and breeding of mosquitoes, property use not in line with Town Planning Provisions, use without the correct allowance and traffic congestion. The risks of the area were supported by the Department of Environment.

The plaintiff, the Nasinu Town Council, instituted proceedings seeking to have the operations of the defendant ceased. The defendant argued that the plaintiff was guilty of material non disclosure and abuse of process. The Court did not agree with these arguments.

The Court then stated that there were severe procedural errors in the case, but nonetheless withheld that the protection of the residents’ human rights and sustainable development were also factors that needed to be taken into account. In acknowledging that the case was of public importance, the Court gave several injunction orders for the illegal operations to cease and for the defendant to clean up the polluted area.