August 21, 2013 (Page 44)
Accra Fast Track High Court yesterday dismissed a writ issued against
the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) by the Truth and
Accountability Forum (TAF) over tariff adjustments.
Dismissing the action, the court, presided over by Mr Justice N. M. C. Abodakpi, held that the TAF lacked
the legal capacity to commence and pursue an action against the PURC.
Describing the suit as being without merit, the court, accordingly,
upheld the PURC’s motion for the court to strike out the action for
being “frivolous, vexatious and abuse of the court’s process”.
Costs of GH¢1,000 were awarded against the group in favour of the PURC.
The group has indicated that it will appeal against the court’s decision.
The TAF hauled the PURC to court on June 20, 2013 and urged the court
to declare that having failed to provide guidelines for the fixing of
rates to be charged, the PURC could not go ahead to fix new rates for
It had also prayed the court to declare as illegal the failure of the
PURC to publish in the Gazette and the mass media approved rates, as
well as perpetually restrain the PURC from approving new rates without
providing guidelines for the fixing of rates.
But the PURC, on July 26, 2013,
filed a motion on notice and prayed the court to dismiss the suit on the
grounds that the group lacked capacity.
It also urged the court to dismiss the statement of claim of the TAF
as being unmeritorious, frivolous and an abuse of the court’s process.
An affidavit deposed to on behalf of the PURC by its Executive
Secretary, Mr Samuel Sarpong, stated that although the plaintiff, in its
statement of claim, indicated that it was registered under the laws of
Ghana and acted as a watchdog to protect members of the public, searches
conducted at the Registrar-General’s Department revealed otherwise.
According to the affidavit, the searches, dated July 15, 2013 and
July 25, 2013, revealed that “the said entity does not exist in law by
the said name and address stated on the writ, neither is it authorised
to do business in consonance with that stated on the statement of