Court refuses to review 2bn/- case judgment against transport company

DAR ES SALAAM: THE Court of Appeal has refused to review its judgment requiring Hood Transport Company Limited to pay the East African Development Bank 776,282.98 US dollars (about 2bn/-) for breach of lease agreement involving seven Scania Marcopolo Torino buses.

Justices Barke Sehel, Panterine Kente and Benhajj Masoud ruled that Hood Transport Limited failed to disclose errors in the application on the decision sought to be reviewed as required under Rule 66 (1) of the Court of Appeal Rules.

“In this regard, it goes without a hitch that, this application is unfounded and we, thus dismiss it with costs,” they declared in their ruling dated February 19, 2024, delivered in Dar es Salaam.

During the hearing of the application, the counsel for the applicant had sought for the Court’s judgment reviewed because it was based on a manifest error on the face of the record resulting in a miscarriage of justice.

He submitted that the Court failed to rule on one of the grounds of appeal which faulted the trial court for expunging some paragraphs of his client’s witness statement.

Moreover, the applicant claimed that the Court erred when it failed to hold that the rejection of documentary exhibits by the trial court was erroneously made by the trial Judge before the said exhibits were tendered in evidence.

In their ruling, the justices pointed out that the review jurisdiction of the Court should never be allowed to be used by the aggrieved parties as an appeal in disguise.

They also emphasised that it is not sufficient for purposes of Rule 66 (1) (a) of the Rules, for the applicant to merely allege that the decision of the appellate Court was based on a manifest error on the face of the record if elaboration of those errors disclose the grounds of appeal.

The justices were also aware to the fact that the applicant had presented five grounds of appeal during the hearing of the appeal, of which one of them faulted the trial Judge for expunging some paragraphs from the applicant’s witness statement.

Having gone through the impugned decision which is sought to be reviewed they noted that such ground of appeal was about the interpretation of Rule 53 of the Commercial Court Rules was well and fully canvassed by the Court in its judgment.

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