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Lagesse M.F. & Ors (Plaintiffs) v The Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd & Ors (Defendants)



Lagesse M.F. & Ors (Plaintiffs) v The Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd & Ors (Defendants)

2021 SCJ 103


Record No.100235



One Mr Gérald Lagesse was an employee of The Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd(“MCB”) and was found dead of asphyxia by gagging following a robbery which took place in the main vault of MCB on 11 February 2005.

The Plaintiffs being his widow, daughter and mother claimed moral damages against MCB and claimed an amount of MUR 35 million along with interests. 

The Plaintiffs averred inter alia that MCB acted negligently, recklessly and unprofessionally and failed as an employer to ensure to its employees and more particularly to those working in the main vault a safe working environment.

The Plaintiffs contended inter alia that MCB failed to take the appropriate measures to prevent intruders from accessing the vault areas amongst others, did not have a system to prevent the robbery, did not have any security camera which would have enabled its security personnel that certain intruders penetrated the security areas of its premises, the late Mr Gerald Lagesse was not provided with sufficient training and instructions with respect to the security of the vault and the security areas.

Learned Counsel for the Plaintiffs further made it clear that the Mauritius Union Cy Ltd, Mauritius Eagle Insurance Company Limited and Swan Insurance Company Ltd, respectively Defendant No.2, Defendant No.3 and Defendant No.4, have been joined as parties to the case as a result of the insistence of MCB to put them into cause.



The plaint was dismissed with no order as to costs mainly on the following rationale:

(i)             all safety procedures and measures were scrupulously followed and applied by MCB on the material date (11.02.2005) and no evidence to the contrary was established;

(ii)           there was evidence from witnesses called by the Plaintiffs themselves that the late Mr Gerald Lagesse was an experienced bank officer and was more specifically the bank manager of several MCB branches where there were vaults and that in such capacity, he was fully conversant with the security aspects of the vault. Therefore the Plaintiffs’ complaint that Mr Lagesse was not given adequate training and required special skills remain unfounded;

(iii)          the intruders got access to the main vault not as a result of the defectiveness in the security system or the lack of aptitude of the late Mr Lagesse as contended by the Plaintiffs but rather on account of someone from the inside the bank having made it possible for the intruders to do so; and

(iv)         the preponderance of the evidence does not establish that the robbery and the death of Mr Lagesse were due to the faute, negligence and recklessness of MCB and the Plaintiffs failed to substantiate their claim for moral damages and their averments that MCB has failed in its duty to ensure a safe environment to it employees.


Attorney for Defendant No.2: Josephine Robert


Blencowe M.C. (Appellant) v ACMS Ltd (Respondent)



Blencowe M.C. (Appellant) v ACMS Ltd (Respondent)


2021 SCJ 26

Record No. 1580 – 6B/24/19


Summary of Facts

The Appellant, was employed as an international financial consultant by the Respondent which is a management company.


The Respondent had guaranteed to pay to one of its clients (Mrs Fallot), the return of her investment plus interests in the tune of USD 73,639.33. (the “Guarantee”)


In view of his involvement in the transaction, the Appellant had given a written undertaking to the Respondent that he would contribute two thirds of the total amount due by the Respondent as a result of the Guarantee but failed to make the said contribution when the Respondent paid the sum of MUR 1,321,973 to Mrs Fallot.



The Appellant contended inter alia that the undertaking was null and void for having been signed duress.




The learned judge found on the facts that the Appellant failed to establish that he had signed the undertaking under duress and ordered the Appellant to pay to the Respondent the sum of MUR 881, 315 with costs and interests. The Appellant appealed against the said judgment.


The Appeal was dismissed and the Court stated that they found no reason to interfere with the learned Judge’s decision to reject the Appellant’s allegation of duress in the light of the evidence fully justified.


Attorney for Respondent

Josephine Robert


You may access a copy of the full judgment through the link below







In this present matter, the Plaintiff which runs Clinique du Nord, sued the Defendants for having published an article with the heading “Soins Médicaux” and the sub-heading “Rs 40,000 POUR UNE FRACTURE AU POIGNET” claiming Rs 10,000,000 representing damages and prejudice it allegedly suffered as a result thereof.

In essence, one Mrs E. de Senneville was taken to Clinique du Nord following a suspected broken wrist which was later confirmed after a clinical and radiological examination. She was treated for same at the said Clinique. The following day, Mrs E. de Senneville took cognisance of the fact that the bill for the treatment of her broken wrist amounted to Rs. 40,790.





The Honourable Court explained that:

(i) Such an action for damages is based on article 1382 of the Civil Code. Under this article, it is cardinal for the Plaintiff to satisfy the Court that prejudice has been caused by an illegal act on the part of the defendants sued.


For ease of reference, article 1382 of the Code provides that «tout fait quelconque, de l'homme, qui cause à autrui un dommage, oblige celui par la faute duquel il est arrivé, à le réparer»



Therefore, the publication of an untruth article will be actionable only if it has caused prejudice.


(ii)  Next, in order to establish the prejudice, it is not sufficient that the article contains defamatory statements. It is pivotal for the plaintiff to show the causal link that as a result of the defamatory statements, its reputation has been adversely affected – Vide Gatley on Libel and Slander, 10th Edition.


Substantially, it is important to assess:


 whether the alleged imputation would tend to lower the plaintiff in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally?

-   whether the imputation would tend to cause others to shun or avoid the plaintiff?

-   whether the words would tend to expose the claimant to ‘hatred, contempt or ridicule’?


Here, the Plaintiff failed to satisfy the court that it suffered actual prejudice in light of compelling evidence showing that it has not suffered any deficits and that instead it has flourished and expanded with the opening of a new clinic in Flic en Flac.


b) Furthermore, the defendants wrote and published an article based on the extensive factual narration of Mrs E. de Senneville.  They also gave the Plaintiff the opportunity to give its version of the facts in a ‘Mise au point’ published on 05 and 12 November 2006.

The result of same was that the readers had the benefit of reading both versions of the story before drawing up their conclusions.


c) The Plaintiff thus failed to establish the faute of the defendants.

The plaint was accordingly dismissed.


Attorney for the Defendants - Mrs Joséphine Robert instructing Counsel Mr G Ithier, SC

Injunction: La Sentinelle Ltd v Akash Callikan, ABZ Global Solutions Ltd & URI CYPIN


Mrs Joséphine Robert, acting for La Sentinelle Ltd, lodged an application for injunction on the 22nd of November 2018, praying for an order of the Judge in Chambers to restrain and prohibit the website “Mo Ti News” from (i) reproducing, copying and replicating articles published by La Sentinelle Ltd in its newspapers or on its website, and (ii) infringing the copyright of La Sentinelle Ltd in the articles published in its newspapers and on its website.

An interim order as per the prayers sought was granted as the Judge sitting in Chambers was satisfied that the matter was so urgent as to require his Lordship’s immediate intervention.




The present matter is an application for the stay of execution of a judgment delivered by a Judge, sitting in Chambers where the applicant, then Respondent, was ordered to quit, leave and vacate a premises and to discharge and/or dissolve the Order made by the same learned Judge in Chambers on the ground that the said Order refusing to stay execution of the judgment infringes the applicant’s right of appeal against the judgment delivered.

The respondent raised a preliminary objection to the effect that the application is procedurally flawed inasmuch as a similar application for stay of execution had already been declined by the learned Judge in Chambers and that the applicant is debarred from making the present application. Respondent moved that the present application be set aside. The respondent argued that the case should have been proceeded with by way of an appeal and not by motion supported by affidavit as has been done in the present case.


The applicant sought to challenge the decision of a Judge in Chambers by way of a motion to set aside the judgment of the learned Judge in Chambers purportedly under section 73 of the Courts Act.

The Court ruled that the circumstances of the present case is similar to the case of Sport Data Feed Ltd (supra) and found no reason to depart from the interpretation given to section 73 of the Courts Act to be extended to an order of “stay of execution”.

The Court also held the proper procedure for challenging the decision of the Judge in Chambers refusing to stay execution of judgment pending the determination of the appeal is by way of an appeal from the decision to stay. It is an abuse of the process of the Court to enter a fresh application by way of motion with supporting affidavit to question the decision to refuse to stay.

The application was accordingly set aside with costs.

Etude Guy Rivalland defended the interests of the Defendant.


A.Parsoramen & Co. Ltd & Sun Insurance Co Ltd v La Prudence Mauricienne Assurance Ltd (Main Case-CN: 1235/10) and La Prudence Mauricienne Assurance Ltee (substituted to read ‘The Mauritius Union Assurance Co Ltd’) v CIM Finance Ltd & Phoolchand Ujoodha (


A.Parsoramen & Co. Ltd & Sun Insurance Co Ltd v La Prudence Mauricienne Assurance Ltd (Main Case-CN: 1235/10) and
La Prudence Mauricienne Assurance Ltee (substituted to read ‘The Mauritius Union Assurance Co Ltd’) v CIM Finance Ltd & Phoolchand Ujoodha (Third Party Case-CN: 514/11)


The present claim for damages arise following a road accident involving five vehicles (‘carambolage’), the Plaintiff’s and Defendant’s vehicles in the main case (CN: 1235/10) were second and third vehicle of the pile up whereas the Third Party in the Third Party case (CN: 514/11) was the last vehicle. 

No plea was filed on behalf of the Defendant in the main case (CN: 1235/10) even after the third party case (CN: 514/11) was lodged. Only at the stage of writing judgment did the Learned Magistrate take cognizance that in fact no plea had been filed, although same had been communicated to the attorney of the Plaintiff.


Can Defendant now file its plea at this stage, where judgment is about to be given and all parties have closed their case?


In the light of requirements set out under rule 38 of the Supreme Court Rules (which provide guidance on the third party procedure) and after having taken into consideration the ‘ratio decidendi’ of several cases, the learned Magistrate has carried out a balancing exercise as to whether it is in the interests of justice to allow the Defendant in the main case (CN: 1235/10) to re-open the case and file the plea.
The learned Magistrate, using his wide powers and discretion proceeded to decide that ‘the omission in filing the plea in the main case was a genuine and minor error which can be cured by allowing same to be filed at this stage’, after having taken into consideration the following:

(i) Counsel for the Plaintiff and the Third Party admitted having had no difficulty to conduct the defence of their client in all fairness and in the interest of justice inasmuch as they were both in possession of the plea, abided by same and knew very well the case they had to meet;

(ii) It was in the interest of justice to allow the plea to be filed at this stage since the case took so long to be heard and if non-suited, the Plaintiff will not be able to lodge a case on the same facts anew due to time bar; and

(iii) At no point in time did Counsel for the third party indicate to the Court, although he had ample opportunity to do so, that he was impeded in the conduct of his case due to this error and could not do justice to his client. Court records and proceedings instead point out that he had all latitude to conduct his case. No prejudice had been caused to Counsel or his client in the conduct of the defence.

Etude Guy Rivalland defended the interests of the Defendant in the main case (CN: 1235/10).


Eureka E.C. Oxenham & CY Ltd v Oxenham Alexandre E. (SC/COM/WRT/01244/2017)


Eureka E.C. Oxenham & CY Ltd v Oxenham Alexandre E. (SC/COM/WRT/01244/2017)


Eureka E.C. Oxenham (the Applicant company) is a company incorporated under the laws of Mauritius, whose activities include the manufacture, importation and distribution of wines and spirits in Mauritius.
It was a business which started in 1932 by late Edward Clark Oxenham and has, over the years, earned a goodwill and reputation through considerable investments, both human and material for the superior quality of its products and its expertise in the field.

The Applicant is furthermore the registered proprietor of the trademark ‘OXENHAM’ which has been registered under The Patents, Industrial Designs and Trademarks Act 2002, which mark was registered to cover alcoholic beverages (except beers) and advertising, business management, business administration and office functions.
As a result, the mark ‘OXENHAM’ is the exclusive property of the Applicant.


In or about August 2017, it has come to the knowledge of the Applicant that Alexandre E. Oxenham (the Respondent) intends to launch a winery in the name of Takamaka Boutique Winery which will, similarly to the Applicant, be engaged in the manufacture of wines in Mauritius and will thus operate in the same market as the Applicant.

The Respondent has also created/ is managing a Facebook page for Takamaka Boutique Winery with a view to advertise and promote the said winery and the products that will be offered by it.
The advertisement being carried out by the Respondent is being done in such a way as to cause confusion in the minds of the public that Takamaka Boutique Winery is associated with the Applicant Company by making direct references to the Applicant company, its brand and history to promote, advertise and/or sell its own products, thereby misappropriating all the hard work and know-how that the Applicant has built over the years.


The Applicant prayed from the Supreme Court (Commercial Division) of Mauritius for:

A. An interim order in the nature of an injunction to be issued, restraining and prohibiting the Respondent from:

(i) Making any reference to the Applicant company, including references to the Applicant’s founder, its history, its former and current premises, its former and current employees, in order to promote and advertise TAKAMAKA BOUTIQUE WINERY and the products thereof;

(ii) Using any photographs of the Applicant company, including photographs of the Applicant’s founder, its history, its former and current premises, its former and current employees, or any other material on which the Applicant Company owns proprietary rights, in order to promote and advertise TAKAMAKA BOUTIQUE WINERY and the products thereof;

(iii) Using the mark “OXENHAM” and/or any other appellation similar to the Applicant’s mark “EUREKA E.C. OXENHAM” in a manner that is likely to cause a confusion that the Respondent and its business activities are directly and/or indirectly associated with the Applicant company;

- And this pending the determination of the main case to be entered before the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court and at the Applicant’s own risks and perils.

B. A Summons to issue calling upon the abovenamed Respondent to be and appear before the Honourable Judge sitting in Chambers to show cause, if any, why the Interim Order should not be made Interlocutory;

- And for any other order as the Honourable Judge may deem fit in the circumstances.


An interim order in the nature of an injunction in the above terms was granted by Honourable G. Angoh on the 22nd September 2017, this pending the determination of the present application after hearing the version of the Respondent.

Etude Guy Rivalland appeared representing the interests of the Applicant in the present application.


Joseph André Christian Rouger Lagane v Rey & Lenferna Ltd (CN: 329/2010)


Joseph André Christian Rouger Lagane v Rey & Lenferna Ltd (CN: 329/2010)
By way of a Plaint before the Industrial Court of Mauritius, Joseph André Christian Rouger Lagane (the Plaintiff) was claiming the sum of Rs. 3,304,545/- from Rey & Lenferna Ltd (the Defendant), which sum represented severance allowance together with interests as from the date of the Plaint, with Costs.
Plaintiff was employed with the Defendant as General Manager since the 20/11/1996 and was drawing a monthly terminal salary of Rs. 57,315/-. He was also provided with two company vehicles, one for himself and one for his wife. He averred that on the 02/02/2010, the Defendant terminated his employment without justification and notice.
The Defendant’s case was to the effect that the Plaintiff had put the vehicles provided to him by the company to illegal use, to wit, illegal hunting-an offence for which the Plaintiff was charged with a provisional information before the District Court of Bambous. The matter was also widely reported by the written press.
Was the termination of the employment of the Plaintiff by the Defendant justified in the circumstances?
Having referred to Section 38(2) (a) (i)-(v) of the Employment Rights Act 2008 and a line of authorities from Mauritian jurisprudence, decisions of the French Cour de Cassation, Dalloz and Jurisclasseur, it was held by the Magistrate that although the Plaintiff committed an offence outside the company premises, outside office hours and whilst he was on leave, there was nevertheless a connection with the employer inasmuch as the Plaintiff had made use of the company vehicle to participate in the commission of the offence of illegal hunting at night, thereby resulting in “manquements aux obligations resultant de son contrat”. Therefore, the acts and doings of the Plaintiff are tantamount to gross misconduct or “faute grave au regard des obligations qui pesent sur lui”.
The Plaint was therefore dismissed with no order as to costs.
Etude Guy Rivalland defended the interests of the Defendant.

Please view full text here: Joseph André Christian Rouger Lagane v Rey & Lenferna Ltd (Judgment)