Now Mahtani wants his passport back

FINSBURY Investment Limited (FIL) executive chairman Dr Rajan Mahtani has asked the Lusaka High Court to order Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Inspector General of Police to release his passport.

On June 2 this year, Dr Mahtani was ordered to surrender his passport to the police at Kabwata police station when he was released on police bond.

He was arrested and charged with two counts of alleged forgery of the share transfer forms of Zambezi Portland Cement (ZPL).

In a petition filed in the Lusaka High Court yesterday by his lawyers, Simeza, Sangwa and Advocates, Dr Mahtani is seeking a court declaration that the taking of his passport by the DPP and police was ultra-vires articles 12 and 22 of the Constitution hence null and void.

“Your petitioner therefore prays that he be granted the following remedies:  a declaration that the respondents’ continued refusal to release the petitioner’s is ultra-vires articles 12 and 22 of the Constitution hence null; and an order commanding the respondents to release the petitioner’s passport to the petitioner forthwith,” the petition read.

Dr Mahtani said after High Court ruling which granted him leave to commence judicial review against his prosecution, his advocates sent a letter to the deputy Inspector General of Police for administration, a Mr Chilembo, to retrieve the passport.

He said there was no response to the letter and his advocates sent another letter on June 30, 2015 to the director, criminal investigations department, seeking the release of his passport and discharge of his sureties.

Dr Mahtani said after sometime the Attorney General responded and he indicated that according to his understanding of Mr Justice Siavwapa’s ruling, the current proceeding were merely stayed pending the determination of the judicial review proceedings and that they were not terminated so as to require the discharge of the sureties and release of Dr Mahtani’s passport.

“The Attorney General went on to say: ‘However, should your client be required to travel out of jurisdiction, I believe the passport may be released as and when required depending on the circumstances.’

Dr Mahtani said since June 2, 2015, he has not been able to leave Zambia to attend to business interest or to receive specialised medical attention required which is not available in Zambia and that his right to leave the country and return has been violated and continues to be violated.

He said in July 2011, he suffered a massive heart attack, which necessitated him to undergo, a full house heart surgery in South Africa.

Dr Mahtani said in December 2014, he underwent a further medical procedure, which resulted in three stents being implanted in his heart. He said as a result of his medical condition, he was required to undergo medical review at Milpark Hospital in South Africa every three months under the care of Dr Raiz Motara.

He said there was no medical facilities in Zambia equipped to deal with his medical conditions hence the need for routine medical evaluation in South Africa.