Perhaps when court orders are being made with regards to persons being blacklisted from travelling, judges might have to consider whether it is appropriate to list the person’s passport number or identification card number on the document to differentiate between persons who might share the same name.
This is the view of prominent defense lawyer Anil Nandlall. Only recently, Nandlall managed to get an interim order for his client, Businesswoman June Ann Johnson, was denied her right to travel because she shared the same name with someone who was blacklisted.
Nandlall said that one has to recognize the fundamental right for people to travel. He said that an order of the court preventing people from travelling can have the effect of contravening a person’s constitutional right to travel.
However, the lawyer said that in limited circumstances the constitution has given the High Court the power to do so.
Nandlall said that in clearly defined situations, when the court exercises that exceptional power, the court is enjoined to act with care and circumspection so as to ensure that the persons in whose name the order is made out to, is indeed the same person.
“The court has to ensure that the person no other than the actual party in the Full Court is affected…by the court order” Nandlall stressed.
Nandlall said that while he was examining his client’s case, a number of issues were highlighted.
“The file was brought up in which the order was made and just by examining the document, it was clear that the order referred to someone else,” he said.
First, the address in the file differed from the businesswoman; secondly the person who obtained the order was unknown to the businesswoman.
The lawyer further told Kaieteur News that the order had involved a family member and it was property dispute, which had absolutely no connection with the businesswoman.
As a result of this, the judge granted the order which allowed the woman to travel unhindered and also inserted the passport number to help differentiate the two persons.
The businesswoman, June Ann Johnson moved to the High Court after she was blocked from leaving this jurisdiction on September 18, last.
She was granted an interim order against Police Commissioner Henry Greene and the Attorney General by Justice Diana Inshanally.
The businesswoman shares the same name with someone else who was blacklisted from leaving the country.
Apart from Nandlall, the woman was represented by Attorneys at law Euclin Gomes, Sase Gunraj and Manoj Narayan.
In Johnson’s affidavit of support, she stated that she is a co-owner the 2J’s General Store, located at 148-149 E1/2 Regent Road, Bourda, Georgetown, Guyana.
Johnson said that on September 18, 2011 she was an outgoing passenger on Caribbean Airlines Flight Number BW 524, bound for New York.
The woman had checked in her luggage and then had proceeded to the Immigration Department at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
Once at the counter, she was informed by an Immigration Officer on duty, that there was an Order of the High Court of the Supreme Court of Judicature which prevented a “June Ann Johnson” from leaving Guyana unless and until she lodged with the Registrar of the Supreme Court the sum of five million dollars.
She was later shown a copy of the Order of Court which revealed that it was made by Justice James Bovell-Drakes in High Court Action No. 765-SA/2002, between Cicely Duncan and June Ann Johson on June 2, 2011.
Johnson said that she requested a copy of the Order from the Immigration Officer but the request was refused.
Johnson said she further enquired from the Immigration Officer whether there was a picture or some other form of identification in respect of the June Ann Johnson named in the said Court Order and was informed by the said Immigration Officer that he was not in possession of any such document.
Johnson is contending that she was never served with any proceedings in relation to the action.
Further, she does not know any Cicely Duncan, or is indebted to any Cicely Duncan.
The businesswoman is further contending that she never knowingly had any business transaction whatsoever with Cicely Duncan and as a consequence, she is totally unaware of the said High Court Action and the facts upon which it is based.
Johnson further states in the affidavit that she was travelling to New York to procure supplies for her business and the hindrance with her travel has caused her immense hardship, including but not limited to cancellation of meetings with suppliers, delay in sourcing of products to meet contractual obligations and rescheduling of freight forwarding arrangements.
Johnson states that the refusal of the Immigration Department to permit her to board the aircraft was a very humiliating and embarrassing experience.
“My business is a popular enterprise in Guyana and I am well-known in the business and professional arena… I am the owner of substantial assets in the jurisdiction of Guyana, including, both movable and immovable, worth in excess of $100 million,” the businesswoman states in her affidavit.
The woman is seeking damages of one million dollars for breach of her fundamental rights as guaranteed by Article 148 of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana;
The affidavit further states that if the damages are not granted she will suffer irreplaceable harm and damage.
The matter is returnable on October 3, in Bail Court.
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