Case seeking to halt installation of digital trackers in cars dismissed

The Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala has dismissed a case in which the Legal Brains Trust, a non for profit organization sought to halt the installation of digital trackers in all vehicles and boda bodas in the country.

In the application, the Legal Brains Trust headed by lawyer Isaac Ssemakadde sought  a temporary injunction to halt and restrain government, its agents , servants or any other authority from implementing the installation of the compulsory digital trackers in motor vehicles, motor cycles and other vessels in Uganda by the Joint Stock Company Global Security, a Russian company.

Ssemakadde had asked court to treat the matter with the urgency it requires since government is in plan to begin the installation .

However, in a ruling delivered on Tuesday, Justice Boniface Wamala said there is no evidence to prove that the planned Intelligent Transport Monitoring System (ITMS) has  been implemented by government.

The judge also noted that the main case before the same court is based on fears of alleged infringement to fundamental human rights and freedoms of privacy, human dignity, equal treatment under the law, among others.

“The justification by the respondent for introducing the ITMS is for purpose of safeguarding national security and curbing crime which is a central responsibility of the government. It is therefore clear to me that the dispute in the main suit is to be based on the balancing of rights and obligations,” Justice Wamala said.

According to the judge, the case raised by Ssemakadde is not one that is likely to lead to the total prohibition of the planned installation of digital trackers in vehicles and that if that was the intention, the case would fail.

He said that on the other hand, if the case is for avoidance of any unreasonable limitation on the fundamental human rights and freedoms of persons in Uganda, then there would be  a serious case that requires investigation by the court.

“However, such would not be a case that requires issuance of an order of a temporary injunction before the issues in the main cause can be investigated. In my view, whether an injunction issues or not would not diminish the need to investigate whether the limitations occasioned by the ITMS are reasonable and demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society. In the event that the Court finds the limitation offensive to the law, the Court would be in position to declare the system or such parts of it as offensive to the named rights and freedoms and the Court will then give appropriate remedies.”

The judge ruled that Ssemakadde’s Legal Brain Trust has not convinced court with reason as to why a temporary injunction should be issued to halt the installation of digital trackers in vehicles if the matter is to be justly investigated.

“The dispute can be investigated and appropriate remedies granted whether the ITMS is implemented before disposal of the main cause or not. As such, no need for preservation of the status quo has been established. Similarly, the applicant has not established a prima facie case that warrants the grant of an order of a temporary injunction pending the hearing of the main cause,” Justice Wamala ruled.

The judge noted that there is no evidence of any irreparable injury to be suffered by the applicant if the temporary injunction is not issued.

“In light of the above findings, therefore, the application is devoid of merit and is accordingly dismissed with costs to the respondent.”

 

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