Entrepreneur loses claim for compensation: Judge rules that Commissioner of Police had not acted unreasonably or capriciously

Entrepreneur Johann Said lost a lawsuit he filed against the Commissioner of Police in connection with the refusal of permission to organize a circus in 2012 on the Granaries in Floriana.

In the case filed in the First Hall of the Civil Court, he argued that he was talks with the Police about the permit and he had expected the permit would be issued.

The fact that it was not issue, led him, not only to lose money but had also affected his reputation as an entrepreneur. Hence, he demanded compensation.

The Commissioner of Police claimed that Said had no automatic right to a license or permit and insisted that it should not be burdened with whatever preparations the entrepreneur had carried out.

From the evidence presented before Judge Joseph Micallef, it emerged that Said intended to set up the circus near the Floriana Granaries for Christmas 2012.

Although the Floriana Local Council did not object to the license, it was not issued following concerns expressed by Valletta shop-owners due to the impact that the circus may have had on the car park during the holidays.

The circus arrived and all the animals and equipment was kept ashore until on the day it was due to be opened these were taken to the Granaries.

Said was arrested for some time because he did not want to obey by the orders of the Police to clear out.

He asked to set up the circus near the Addolorata Cemetery and the permit was issued where it remained open until 6 January.

After hearing both sides, Judge Micallef argued that even if there was some form of pre-contractual link the evidence presented shows that the Commissioner of Police did not renege from any agreement unreasonably or capriciously.

“On the contrary, the evidence shows that, where it was within his powers to issue the permit requested by the plaintiff, they did so and did so in the shortest time possible, so much so that the plaintiff himself testified that (when he asked to be allowed assemble the ring elsewhere) the Police were very efficient ”.

Judge Micallef added that in addition to this the Commissioner of Police could not go against the policy issued by the Cabinet of Ministers and give permission in violation of the same policy.

It was for these reasons that the Judge rejected Said’s request for compensation from the Commissioner of Police.