KAMPALA– High court Judge Musa Ssekana has declined to hear afresh a case in which Uganda Funeral Service was ordered to pay Hirani Mani Kanji 260 million shillings in compensation for the damages he suffered after being knocked by their vehicle Registration number UAY 513Y which was driving on the wrong side of the road.
In June this year, in an ex-parte matter , High court delivered a judgement where it faulted the driver of the Funeral van of using a wrong side of the road well knowing it had no right of way thereby knocking a motorist.
Being not satisfied with the ex-parte decision of court, Uganda Funeral Services filed an application seeking court to hear the matter afresh so that they can include their defense which had not been done due to counsel’s carelessness.
“The court will set aside a judgment passed ex-parte and order a retrial where the latter party in whose favor the judgment subsists would not be prejudiced or embarrassed upon an order for rehearing of the suit being made, so as to render such a course inequitable. The respondent in this matter was seriously injured in the accident and is still undergoing treatment as a result of the accident. Setting aside the judgment will prejudice the applicant who is now on clutches and walking with disability.” ruled Ssekaana
The judge also noted that the applicant didn’t provide any evidence that he didn’t commit the offence despite of the fact that he had the time , but instead blamed the former counsel for everything.
“Since the non-attendance or appearance of counsel on the day of hearing was a ‘mistake of counsel’, then the applicant can sue her former counsel for professional indemnity or report the conduct of her former counsel to the Disciplinary Committee of the Law Council for professional misconduct instead of burdening the court system re-litigating a matter heard on merit.”
Considering the above grounds, court dismissed the application with costs.