By DEMAS TIEN
A COURT has stayed the suspension last month of Mary Morola, the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations Secretary, pending the judicial review of Cabinet’s decision on her.
Justice Colin Makail ruled that Morola should resume her duties as the department secretary pending the outcome of the court’s review of her suspension.
A Government team led by Personnel Department Secretary John Kali was appointed to investigate the “serious allegations” levelled against her relating to the process of issuing work permits to foreigners.
George Bopi, the Chief of Staff at the Prime Minister’s Office, was appointed to act in the position.
Justice Makail said there was a question on whether Morola was given the opportunity to respond to the “serious allegations” levelled against her.
He also questioned why the acting appointment was given to someone from outside the department and not to one of its senior officers, including the two deputy secretaries.
He ruled that Morola had sufficient interest in the case and had an arguable case that needed to be fully addressed by the court.
Morola’s lawyer Greg Konjib, from Konjib and Associates Lawyers, submitted that her suspension and the subsequent appointment of Bopi as acting secretary were illegal.
Lawyer Enoch Manihambu, from the Office of the Solicitor-General, submitted that Cabinet had recommended Morola’s suspension because of the serious allegations against her in relation to her leadership of the department.
The matter returns to court on Tuesday for directions on the substantive matter.
Source : thenational.com.pg