Justice for Vishal Jaunky : To Whom It May Concern

On 11th August 21,in the Supreme Court of Mauritius, B. R. Mungly-Gulbul, Senior Puisne Judge and M. I. Maghooa, Judge, pronounced a landmark judgement on an application for judicial review by citizen Vishal Jaunky and quashed the decision taken by the Mauritius Institute of Education(MIE) to appoint a lesser qualified candidate than Vishal to the post of Lecturer. This manifestly questionable and unjustifiable appointment by MIE had received the blessings of the Minister of Education.

The learned Judges qualified the appointment as:

manifestly unreasonable and “so outrageous in its defiance of logic”, that no reasonable person or body could have reached a decision for appointing the co-respondent rather than the applicant to the post of lecturer as advertised.

The evidence before the Court indicated, without any shadow of doubt, that there could “barely have any possible comparison between the applicant (i.e. Vishal) and the co-respondent in respect of all the prescribed criteria”.

Undoubtedly, there are probably many more cases where meritocracy has been by-passed but this is a case that will go down the annals of our history as the most repulsive illustration of nepotism and favouritism. This is so because it has been orchestrated in a sector that represents the cradle of values and principles that mould and shape the character, integrity and ethos of our nation, its children and its youth. And there can be no act more ignominious than a Minister of Education giving approval and condoning such a questionable practice.

As a citizen and former Minister of Education, when I read the judgement, I was appalled by the callous treatment inflicted upon Vishal and although not knowing him personally, on 28th October, I wrote on my FB page:

“I don’t know Vishal personally. I came to know about him when recently the Supreme Court, in one of its most severe judgements, condemned the Mauritius Institute of Education and the Ministry of Education for having discriminated against Vishal and favoured another far less qualified candidate for the post of Lecturer. Vishal could be the brother, friend, son of anyone. The least we would have expected is an unconditional apology and immediate remedial action by the authorities.”

On 17th October, Vishal met me and we exchanged notes. In one way or another, at some point, many become victims of discrimination and injustice and suffer in silence. Vishal has chosen to stand up and fight for a just cause, for justice. He deserves our respect and full support.

But more importantly, those who claim to uphold our constitution and those who have the responsibility to ensure that justice is not only done but is seen to be done, must not turn their back to citizen Vishal Jaunky.

I appeal to the President and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius not to show disrespect to the judgement of the Supreme Court of our Republic and ensure that justice prevails.

(Dharam Gokhool, Former Minister of Education)