Rajendra Chaudhry

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Rajendra Chaudhry (born 4 February 1967) is an Indo-Fijian lawyer and former civil servant.


Chaudhry is best known as the son of Mahendra Chaudhry, leader of the Fiji Labour Party who was deposed as Prime Minister in the Fiji coup of 2000. Rajendra Chaudhry, who was his father's personal secretary at the time, was kidnapped along with most of his father's government and held as a hostage for 56 days by gunmen connected with George Speight, the instigator of the coup.

Chaudhry was admitted to the bar as a lawyer on 30 September 2005, by Chief Justice Daniel Fatiaki. He has since become a partner with Rajesh Gordon of Gordon and Company in Lautoka. Chaudhry maintains the Suva office under the trading name of Gordon & Chaudhry Lawyers. He has since appeared in several high-profile cases, with the most prominent being the writ by the Opposition Leader against the Prime Minister for defamation. He also acts pro bono for many of his clients who cannot afford legal representation.

On 27 December 2005, the Fiji Live news service quoted Chaudhry as saying that he would stand for parliamentary elections if endorsed by the Fiji Labour Party in the general election scheduled for 2006.


On 15 August 2005, Chaudhry announced that he was suing the government for F$500,000 for the loss of superannuation, income, and future earnings, what he says was caused by military and police negligence. The security forces, he alleges, knew that a coup was likely and did nothing to prevent it. "As a result of their negligence, I had to endure physical torture and psychological trauma and am seeking compensation for these and related matters," he said.

On 13 September 2005, police announced that they were investigating a complaint against Chaudhry made by Lalesh Shankar, an employee of the ruling Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua (SDL). Shankar claimed that Chaudhry had verbally abused him. Chaudhry denied this, saying that what really happened was that a friend who had accompanied him had asked Shankar, an Indo-Fijian, how he could work for a party that was so anti Indian and racist in its policies. According to Chaudhry, Shankar had demanded an apology, and had called the police when his friend refused. Chaudhry himself had not been personally involved, he said.[citation needed]

On 24 January 2007, Chaudhry attacked the leadership of the Fiji Law Society (FLS) on Fiji Television. He said he was unhappy with the stance of the FLS President Devanesh Sharma and Vice-President Tupou Draunidalo, and claimed that their strong condemnation of the military coup of 5 December 2006 and of the interim government that was formed the following month were personal statements that had been made purportedly on behalf of the FLS, without consulting its members. Chaudhry announced that he was attempting to call an emergency meeting to deal with the issue. If his grievances were not met, he threatened the formation of an alternative organization to represent Fiji's lawyers.

The next day, Draunidalo announced that Sharma had called a special meeting to "crush" internal opposition to their stand against the interim government.

On 26 January, Chaudhry announced his intention to sue the FLS, after receiving a letter from the Society threatening to suspend his conditional legal practicing certificate for allegedly breaching its terms, because he and his legal partner did not share an office. That matter was before the court, however, and had been since December 2006, he claimed. He accused the leadership of the FLS of having an agenda against him, and reiterated his call for the establishment of an alternative organization.

Board appointment[edit]

On 27 January 2007, interim Sports Minister Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi appointed Chaudhry to the board of the interim Sports Council.

Regime opponent[edit]

Since 2007, Chaudhry has been an outspoken opponent of the Bainimarama administration. As of 2015, he lives in exile in Sydney, Australia.