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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)