Kajara Vs Mugisha (Civil Misc Appeal No. 58 of 2016) [2017] UGCA 122 (21 December 2017)

Notice of Appeal|Late filing and extension of time to appeal|Elections|CL
Case summary
This was an application seeking orders striking out an election petition appeal on grounds of incompetence. The court determined whether the notice of appeal was filed out of the prescribed time and whether the notice of appeal was served on the applicant. The court applied the rule that a failure by the appellant to take an essential step in the prosecution of his appeal or to do so within the prescribed time renders the election appeal incompetent. The court was also guided by the rule that an intending appellant has a higher duty to abide by the above rule in an electoral appeal to ensure that the appeal is disposed of quickly. It held that the respondent had a duty to retain evidence of proof of service and to serve the notice of appeal in the prescribed time and had failed to do so or even take steps to rectify the deficiencies. Thus, the applicant was entitled to make an application to have the appeal struck out. The court also considered that it had the discretion to exercise the remedy of extending time in order to validate an appeal if the intended appellant proves special circumstances that make it expedient to do so. The court observed that the intended appellant had not proved any of those circumstances. Accordingly, the court granted the application and struck out the election appeal with costs to the respondent.

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