MASERU — The Court of Appeal on Thursday heard a case in which Jackpot Supermarket is challenging the validity of a warrant issued by the Maseru Magistrates’ Court in 2011 and the validity of procedures followed in its execution.
The Maseru Magistrates’ Court had issued a search warrant for the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) against Jackpot Supermarket.
Some important documents and computers were subsequently seized. Jackpot Supermarket however approached the High Court to challenge the legality and validity of the warrant. The High Court accepted the search warrant and dismissed the case.
Jackpot Supermarket then appealed against the judgment. The supermarket argues that the warrant was not properly issued as it directed search of Jackpot Wholesalers which did not exist at that time.
They argue that Jackpot Wholesalers was registered after the warrant had lapsed adding that the LRA wrongfully took documents belonging to Jackpot Supermarket and other entities during their search. They argue that the LRA seized documents they were not authorised to seize therefore they cannot retain copies of documents they unlawfully seized.
Jackpot Supermarket and Jackpot Wholesalers, which are the appellants in the matter, asked the Court of Appeal to declare the warrant unlawful and invalid.
They also asked the court to order that the copies made be returned to Jackpot Wholesalers. The respondent maintains that the warrant was legally issued and that the search was legally executed. They indicated that documents which belonged to Jackpot Wholesalers were returned. They asked that the appeal be dismissed. The matter is before the President of the Court of Appeal Justice Michael Ramodibedi.
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