Even as members of the public continue to cry outrage at the controversial parking meter project,
Chief Justice (Ag), Yonette Cummings-Edwards has granted an ‘Order Nisi,’ to quash the decision of Mayor and City Council & Town Clerk to enter into a contract with Smart City Solutions (SCS) Incorporated, unless they can give just cause why it should be so.
The decision was handed down at the Georgetown High Court, yesterday.
According to the document seen by this newspaper, the court ruled in favour of an application by Mahendra Arjune.
Arjune‘s Attorney Kamal Ramcharan presented the application and submissions and the order was granted.
The Chief Judge specifically granted an order to quash the agreement made on May 13, 2016.
The court ruled that the amendments must be made to the establishment of parking meters in the city of Georgetown with Smart City Solution Inc., and all the things thereafter which flowed from that decision unless the defendant, Mayor and City Council of Georgetown (M&CC), shows cause against quashing the decision.
The Court also granted an order nisi to quash the decision by the M&CC to empower the Town Clerk to sign and operationalise contracts with SCS Inc., for the establishment of parking meters and all acts of things done or caused to be done or flowing from the decisions of the M&CC and the Town Clerk, unless reason is given
against rescinding that decision.
The order was granted to cancel the agreement by the M&CC and anyone acting on their behalf to, except persons or categories of persons paying fees for parking in the city of Georgetown and being subject to penalties of such.
The M&CC is therefore instructed to show cause why this decision should not be quashed.
The application is now set for hearing on February 27 before Justice Brassington Reynolds at the Supreme Court.
Parties involved in the matter were warned that failure to comply with the order will result in them being held in contempt.
The M&CC had signed the contract with SCS on May 13, 2016.
The contract gave the company exclusive rights to conduct paid public parking within Georgetown and includes the installation of parking meters. According to the contract, “The City Hall shall support and facilitate any application or process the concessionaire (SCS) may pursue to secure exemption from income, corporation, VAT (value added tax), capital gains and all other levies, taxes, duties, cesses or other imposition of similar nature in respect of the importation, use and operation of any equipment and materials, including but not limited to, any unit or part of the Metered Parking System imported by the concessionaire for purposes of initialisation and on-going operation of the project.”
The company has been afforded a number of sole and absolute discretions also. These include SCS having the power to establish distinct and multiple geographic Parking Zones within the territory of the City which shall be subject to distinct Metered Parking Fees and Parking Fines.
This process, however, must be accompanied by the company demonstrating the basis and justification for the distinctions within any relevant study to be provided to the City Council.
Further, the company can begin charging for parking beyond 19:00hrs. This can be done in places classified as “nocturnal areas” which are typically frequented during evening hours.
The contract was signed by Mayor Patricia Chase-Green, Town Clerk Royston King, and Councillor Junior Garrett on behalf of the council. Signatories for the company are Chairman and Director of SCS Simon Moshesvilli and Director Ifagbamila Kamau Cush. Cush is no longer employed with the parking meter company.
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