Last week's Private Notice Question focused on cases of mismanagement criticized at the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority. The Minister of Agribusiness responded that the dismissal of an Internal Control Officer was justified due to unsatisfactory performance and validated by the Employment Relations Tribunal. However, the court's judgment is nuanced, indicating the opposite.

“It is for this valid reason that this particular person was terminated, as he did not perform his duties to the satisfaction of management. This is why she was fired! Of course, she went to the Employment Relations Tribunal to have her case examined, but the tribunal ruled in favor of management for the dismissal. Now that this matter is behind us, actions have already been launched to recruit a new Internal Control Officer. » This is the response given by the Minister of Agro-Industry, Mahen Seeruttun, to opposition leader Arvin Boolell. This was during a Private Notice Question last week, relating to cases of mismanagement at the Mauritius Cane Industry Authority (MCIA).

The Minister of Agro-Industry affirmed that no case of mismanagement had been reported to the board of directors or the ministry for the year 2023 and since January 2024. However, during additional questions, the tone is between the leader of the opposition and the minister when the contractual situation of the Internal Control Officer of the MCIA was discussed.

Mahen Seeruttun confirmed that the latter was appointed a few years ago, but due to his unsatisfactory performance, he was fired. It was only after the officer appealed to the Employment Relations Tribunal (ERT) that it confirmed the fairness of the dismissal by management and the MCIA.

The minister argued that the court approved the management's decision to dismiss this officer. However, an in-depth analysis of the judgment presents a different version from that presented by Mahen Seeruttun. “The Tribunal had no choice but to conclude that the dismissal of the applicant by the respondent was unjustified. Therefore, the reinstatement of the Applicant is justified. The Tribunal must now determine whether it can order that the applicant be reinstated to his former position as Principal Internal Auditor at the MCIA,” the judgment states.

After noting that the relationship between the employer and the worker had been broken, despite the applicant's evidence demonstrating that the bond of trust still subsists, the ERT concluded that the relationship between the applicant and the respondent had been irretrievably broken. broken. Therefore, the court cannot pass an order of reinstatement in favor of the petitioner. The ERT can only order that the applicant receive severance pay.

In a statement given to Défi Quotidien, Arvin Boolell claimed that the minister had been misled by the director general of the MCIA. According to the opposition leader, all internal auditors who work diligently and do not bend to the whims of the government in power are forced to resign or are victims of smear campaigns.

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