DPP says plaintiffs invoked wrong jurisdiction
The defence team for the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Doodnauth Singh and Ms. Sonia Joseph, on Wednesday sought to reinforce some of what they consider key points in their written submission.
The Senior Counsel’s submission is that Counsel for the applicants, Mr. Nigel Hughes, invoked the wrong jurisdiction in bringing the action.
It was stated that, as such he has no standing before the Court and the Court has no jurisdiction to hear him. Mr. Hughes who is representing both Roderick Peterkin and Morris Smith, erroneously brought the action under Order 10 Rule LVIII of the Rules of the Supreme Court of England 1883 Act; an Act which is no longer being used in Guyana since 1955.
In addition, the applicants are relying on a full court decision in the Barry Dataram case. Senior Counsel Singh argued that in the decision of Barry Dataram, a fundamental error in law was made. As such, the Full Court cannot rely on such an erroneous decision as relied on by the applicants.
“The rules were never accepted in Guyana and there was no similarity between the 1883 Order 58, r. 10 and the Guyana Order 46 r. 16 and no question of substitution of the Full Court for the Court of Appeal; one Order deals with a right of appeal to the Court of Appeal in the UK,
whereas, the other Order deals with the right of appeal to the Full Court in Guyana; that it was erroneous and inapplicable for the Full Court to substitute one Court for the other”. Singh, during his argument, further stated that an examination of the judgment will
show that it was erroneous. Further, Singh argued that the affidavit attached to the application has no evidence of bias or mala fide (bad faith) on the part of the DPP and as a result, her advice to the police on the charges which were instituted by the police is not reviewable by any Court; hence, there is no legal merit in the application.
The applicants have stated that they will stand by their submissions. As it relates to the ‘No Jurisdiction’ submission, the applicants stated that the decisions of the Full Court in the matter of Barry Dataram and another case are the current binding decisions of the court on the manner in which the said court is to be approached.
“It is respectfully submitted that an applicant who follows the established, expressed written and binding decision of an applicable and appropriate court of the land cannot be properly accused of making an application which is without the jurisdiction of the said court.”
The applicants further stated in their submissions that unless and until such a decision is or these decisions are overturned, all applicants to the court must be guided by it.
Meanwhile, the matter will be called again before Justice William Ramlal and Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire.