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Rajendra Prasad v/s Indiana Publications (Nz) Ltd & Others

    CA No. 412 of 2009

    Decided On, 21 September 2009

    At, Court of Appeal of New Zealand


    For the Applicant: In Person. For the Respondent: G M Harrison QC, Advocate.

Judgment Text

O’Regan, J.

[1] Mr Prasad filed a notice of application for special leave to appeal on 25 May 2009. He sought leave to appeal against a decision of Allan J in which judgment was given on 26 May 2009, after a hearing on 21 May 2009. We are unsure why the application for leave pre-dated the judgment, but that is the position. Allan J’s decision related to an application by Mr Prasad for review of certain directions made by Associate Judge Robinson after an initial case management telephone conference relating to Mr Prasad’s proceedings in the High Court for infringement of copyright.

[2] The application for review was filed out of time, because Mr Prasad had initially incorrectly tried to appeal against the Associate Judge’s directions to this Court.

[3] Allan J granted Mr Prasad the indulgence of an extension of time and dealt with the application for review in some detail. Having considered all of the complaints made by Mr Prasad, the Judge determined that none of the challenges made to the conference minute of Associate Judge Robinson had any merit. The Judge said that Mr Prasad had misunderstood the purpose of the telephone conference before the Associate Judge and had read too much into what the Associate Judge did and did not include in the minute.

[4] Notwithstanding this clear indication of the futility of the challenge to the Associate Judge’s minute, Mr Prasad applied to this Court for special leave to appeal against Allan J’s decision. However, s 26P(1AA) of the Judicature Act 1908 provides that leave to appeal against a decision of a High Court Judge on review of a decision of an Associate Judge must be obtained from the High Court. Only if the High Court refuses leave can special leave be sought from this Court. As there has been no application for leave made in the High Court there is no jurisdiction for this Court to give special leave.

[5] We therefore dismiss Mr Prasad’s application for want of jurisdiction. But we should make it clear to Mr Prasad that, just as his application for a review to the High Court Judge was misconceived, so was his attempt to appeal against the High Court Judge’s decision. The matters which were dealt with in the minute of the Associate Judge which was the subject of the review by Allan J were procedural matters which have now been essentially superseded. In particular, the Judge’s direction in relation to the respondent’s application for security of costs is now of no consequence because the application for security of costs has now been heard and declined. Similarly, the directions relating to summary judgment applications filed by both parties are of no further consequence because those summary judgment applications had been heard and determined.

[6] Mr Prasad indicated in his written submission that he wished this Court

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to take numerous steps relating to the High Court proceeding, none of which is properly within the scope of the application, and almost all of which are not within our jurisdiction. We decline to do so. [7] We award costs to the respondents for a standard application on a band A basis and usual disbursements.