Papua New Guinea
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National Court summons department secretaries

SECRETARIES for the Departments of Treasury and Finance have been ordered to appear in court today.

The National Court made this order yesterday following outstanding rental payment of approximately K1.42 million for the Office of the Public Solicitor who are occupying the Sir Buri Kidu Haus building.

The two Secretaries will appear in court to explain why the Public Solicitors Office’s rentals have not been paid and how soon would the arrears be settled.

Lawyer from the Office of the Public Solicitors Adam Token said his office had directed him to file the application.

He said it was urgent for the rentals to be paid as the courts depend on the lawyers from the Office of the Public Solicitors.

He added that this would also affect their branches outside of Port Moresby.

“If the lawyers are locked out then our clients will have no one to represent them in court.”

“Our outside branches will be affected as they rely on the headquarters to coordinate duties.”

He said the departments have been served a letter and court documents notifying them that the application would appear in court.

He also said the departments were notified of the eviction that would happen on Friday.

Upon hearing the arguments, acting Judge Justice Pauline Bre granted the three orders that were sought.

The orders are that a declaration that rental arrears in the amount of approximately K1, 42 million owing to Century 21 Real Estate in respect of the office space occupied by the Public Solicitors Office at Sir Buri Kidu are paid by the Departments.

The two department heads to personally explain why the office rentals have not been paid and how soon such rental arrears can be settled.

The Department of Finance take all necessary steps as reasonably practicable within lawful powers and function to ensure to settle the rental arrears in the amount of K1, 423, 362.69. (K1.42 million)

The Office of the Public Solicitors would be locked by Friday if rentals are not paid.