Chief Justice, (ag) Yonette Cummings-Edwards last week ruled in favour of Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo Linda Persaud and granted orders against the efforts by the Central Housing and Planning Authority, (CH&PA)
to repossess her property.
Persaud had filed a motion in the High Court to prevent the government from reclaiming a plot of land at Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo, last February.
The motion was filed through PPP/C executive member Attorney-at-Law, Anil Nandlall, following efforts by the Government to repossess turn-key homes distributed under the PPP/C regime.
In the court action, the applicant claimed that servants and/or agents of the (CH&PA) of the Ministry of Housing/or the State, broke and entered Persaud‘s property on December 3, 2015, and have since taken possession of it, consequently preventing her from entering upon or occupying her property.
The woman therefore requested a declaration by the court that the breaking and entry of the property situated at Lot 3608 Block 8, Plantation Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo, is unlawful, and contrary to and in contravention of Article 142 of the Constitution of Guyana.
As such, the court, in a ruling handed down last week, granted a declaration that “the taking of possession of and the prevention of the applicant from entering and occupying her property known as and situate at Lot numbered 3608 being a portion of Block 8, Plantation Tuschen, situate on the East Bank of the Essequibo River, by servants and/or agents of the Central Housing and Planning Authority, the Ministry of Housing or any other Officer of the State, are in violation of the Applicant’s fundamental right and freedom as is guaranteed to her by Article 142 of the Constitution of Guyana”.
The Court also granted a declaration that “the summary forfeiture or expropriation or compulsorily acquisition or taking of possession of any land held by transport or certificate of title on the ground that the transportee or the title holder is in violation of or has breached any term or condition contained in any agreement of sale is unlawful, contrary to and in breach of Article 142 of the Constitution of Guyana, in breach of natural justice, arbitrary, oppressive, unreasonable, capricious, null, void and of no effect”.
The court therefore granted a conservatory order prohibiting servants and/or agents of the Ministry of Housing or any other Officer of the State’s Central Housing and Planning Authority, “from entering upon, remaining, occupying or in any manner whatsoever interfering with the applicant’s quiet and peaceful possession, occupation and enjoyment at her property known as and situated at Lot numbered 3608 a portion of Block 8, Plantation Tuschen, situate on the East Bank of the Essequibo River”.
Additionally the ruling outlined that even assuming that CH&PA had the power to retake the Applicant’s property for breach of a term of the transport i.e. to build within a particular time, in this case, CH&PA was stopped from doing so by their conduct. CH&PA had, after the alleged breach entered into a contract with the Applicant to build a core home for her and in any event, no hearing was given to the Applicant.
“The actions of the CH&PA, acting under the terms of the contract for the building of the core home when it attempted to retake the property was arbitrary, in breach of the rule of natural justice and in breach of the applicant’s fundamental right against compulsory acquisition of property.”
The Plaintiff was therefore awarded damages in the sum of $200,000 and costs in the sum of $75,000.
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