Magic Kiosk loses Constitutional case
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Magic Kiosk loses Constitutional case

The former Magic Kiosk in Sliema, which was demolished when St Anne Square was rehabilitated.

The former Magic Kiosk in Sliema, which was demolished when St Anne Square was rehabilitated.

A constitutional application filed by the operator of the Magic Kiosk in Sliema was today dismissed after a court ruled that the operator had no legal or juridical interest in the suit.

Britannia Catering Company Limited filed its constitutional application against the Lands Department, the Ministry of Public Works and Mepa.

The company told the First Hall of the Civil Court, presided over by Mr Justice Joseph Zammit McKeon that it had been granted two different portions of land in St Anne Square, Sliema by two deeds of temporary emphyteusis. The deeds which were entered into in 1976 and in 1979 lapsed in December 2008 and February 2004 respectively.

According to the company, the Ministry of Public Works had submitted an application to Mepa in 2008 for the refashioning of this square and for the removal of the Magic Kiosk. Britannia Catering Co Ltd told the court that it had not been involved with or notified with this application despite the fact that it was the operator of the Magic Kiosk which, as a going concern, belonged to the company and not to the government.

The company claimed that its right to a fair hearing and to freedom from discrimination had been violated.

It further claimed that its right to peaceful possession of property had also been violated.

However Mr Justice Zammit McKeon upheld submissions filed by the authorities and ruled that Britannia Catering Co Ltd had no juridical interest in the case.

The court pointed out that both deeds of temporary emphyteusis had stipulated that on the lapse of the grants the site and any buildings constructed thereon were to revert to the government without any right of compensation on the part of the company.

This notwithstanding, the company had remained in occupation of the site and of the Magic Kiosk after the deeds had lapsed. If a person filed a court action that person had to have a legal interest in the case at all of its stages. In this case, once the agreements had lapsed the company had no legal interest in the case

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