Case details

De Pitray (also known as Maigrot) (Appellant) v The State of Mauritius and another (Respondents) (Mauritius)

Case ID: JCPC 2018/0071

Jurisdiction: The Supreme Court of Mauritius

Case summary


Whether the Court of Civil Appeal was wrong to dismiss the appellant’s appeal of the decision to dismiss her claim for mistreatment and unlawful acts by police officers.


The appellant claimed that police officers had mistreated her and acted unlawfully in the course of their investigation into the death of Vanessa Lagesse. The respondents denied the allegations and argued that the officers acted within the confines of powers vested upon the second respondent.

After several preliminary hearings and adjournments, the respondents applied to amend their plea to include a plea that the appellant’s plaint did not disclose any cause of action against them and moved that the plaint be dismissed. The appellant applied in turn to amend her plaint, to include allegations that the first respondent was the ‘commetant’ of the second respondent, and the police officers who were under the instructions and directions of the second respondent were the ‘préposés’ of both respondents.

The judge at first instance allowed the respondents’ application to amend their plea. He then ruled that the original plaint did not disclose a cause of action and did not allow the appellant’s proposed amendment. He therefore dismissed the appellant’s plaint. The appellant’s appeal was dismissed by the Court of Civil Appeal.



Isabelle Marie Elisabeth de Smard de Pitray (also called Isabelle Maigrot)

  1. The State of Mauritius
  2. The Commissioner of Police



Lord Carnwath, Lady Black, Lord Briggs, Lord Kitchin, Lord Sales

Hearing start date

14 Nov 2019

Hearing finish date

14 Nov 2019