ILSC fines veteran lawyer
3 February, 2023, 1:15 pm
Veteran lawyer Mehboob Raza was fined $1400 by the Fiji Independent Legal Services Commission for professional misconduct.
He was charged after failing to respond to a client and also failing to respond to the Chief Registrar.
Mr Raza appeared before the Commission on October 6, 2022 where he readily admitted to the said allegations.
“In his mitigation, he submits that he is remorseful for his non-compliance with the notice sent by the Chief Registrar and the non-compliance has since been rectified after the notice has been answered,” Commissioner Gihan Kulatunga said in his ruling.
“This is not a deliberate or obstinate non-compliance, but an inadvertent oversight due to the said circumstances. The respondent has subsequently, complied with the notice shortly prior to filling of this application. There is thus a technical breach so to say.
“The infraction concerned in the present matter in my view the kinds of thing that may arise in any busy practice without necessarily attracting alarm. I am not in any way condoning or promoting laxity.
“Strict compliance is the usual rule. In the ordinary course, where it is discovered to be minor infraction that fall short of suggesting the practitioner is a danger to the public and such infraction is immediately rectified and corrected leniency is justified.
“The good character, reputation and absence of prior transgressions during his 46 years of practice count in his favour. It seems that he has run a generally tidy practice.”
Justice Kulatunga ordered Mr Raza pay $700 to the Chief Registrar and $700 to the commission by February 10, 2023.