The case of Hanoomanjee concerns a claim for tortious damages which the Plaintiff, Mr Hanoomanjee, lodged against the Defendants, for whom Appleby appears, in relation to the termination of his employment.

The Defendants objected to the Plaintiff’s request to amend the name of Marsh Africa in the heading of his pleadings on the grounds that the Plaintiff’s request was linked to a point-in-law which the Defendants had raised in their pleadings to the effect that the second Defendant, as styled in the Plaintiff’s pleadings, was a non-existent entity. The objection was based on certificates issued by the South African Registrar of Companies (‘South African ROC’) towards this end.

The Plaintiff justified his request for amendment on the premise that the name of the second Defendant in his pleadings was a typographical error. However, he agreed that his request was based on the certificates issued by the South African ROC and which formed part of the documents annexed to the Defendants’ pleadings.

In disallowing the Plaintiff’s request, the Master & Registrar took the view, amongst others, that it would be an abuse of the process of the court to grant the Plaintiff’s request and that a recent decision of the Supreme Court entitled her to take into consideration the circumstances surrounding a request to amend pleadings.

The reasons underpinning her decision in Hanoomanjee are set out below:

  • the name of the second Defendant was ascertainable at the time that the Plaintiff lodged his claim before the Supreme Court against the Defendants but was ignored by the Plaintiff;
  • the Plaintiff did not provide any valid reasons to justify his delay to request the amendment;
  • the request for amendment was not straightforward as it was directly linked to a point-of-law raised by the Defendants regarding the name of the second Defendant, as styled in the heading of the Plaintiff’s pleadings. The amendment was actually made after the Defendants raised their point-of-law;
  • to grant the amendment would amount to an interference with “the state of play and integrity that goes with every stage of the procedural process of the court” as it would forestall the determination of the Defendants’ objection-in-law; and
  • fairness would demand that the Defendants were first to be heard on their objection-in-law following which outcome the Plaintiff may decide whether to pursue his request to amend the name of the second Defendant in his pleadings.

In taking her stand, the Master & Registrar upheld a line of authorities of the Supreme Court that a request to amend pleadings which is directly linked with objections-in-law of a defendant requires considerations that would not apply to those that are not.

The Appleby team appearing for the Defendant was led by Sharmilla Bhima (Partner) appearing as Bar-at-Law, and Ashley Oogorah (Counsel) appearing as Attorney-at-Law.

Key Contacts

Ashley Oogorah

Counsel: Mauritius

T +230 203 4311
E Email Ashley

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