Enforcement activities by Smart City Solutions (SCS) and the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) in the city continued yesterday despite there being two active matters in the High Court staying the project from
As a result of this, there was a standoff between employees of SCS and Chief Executive Officer of National Hardware Eddie Boyer along with a number of his employees after SCS staff clamped the vehicles of two customers, driving motor cars PVV 9578 and PNN 8075.
Kaieteur News understands that the clamping took place around 14:30hrs. Having knowledge of the pending court matters, this newspaper tried to speak with the lone SCS employee to ascertain who authorised the activities.
However, the staff member refused to comment after being probed several times. The young man was in the company of two City Constables. They were both asked by this newspaper what role they were playing in enforcing paid parking.
One of the Constables said that they were providing security for the parking meters which have been put down along Water Street. Further, he said that he received instructions from his superior, Chief Constable Andrew Foo.
It was expected that SCS and the M&CC would not proceed with enforcing paid parking, since the municipality is before the court on the matter. Speaking with an attorney-at-law close to the Movement against Parking Meters (MAPM), this newspaper understands that persons who would have been clamped or ‘booted’ can take legal action against the company to get refunds for damages.
The lawyer said that the enforcement puts the company and the municipality in contempt of the two court orders and therefore affected motorists would be entitled to redress.
Members of the MAPM have described the actions by SCS employees as intimidating. Additionally, they find the fact that it is a foreign company supposedly bullying Guyanese even more disrespectful.
What took place in front of National Hardware was just one instance of enforced paid parking, as several cases were reported by the movement with images and video evidence being posted on Facebook.
During a Town Hall meeting on Saturday organised by the MAPM at St. Stanislaus College, attorney-at-law Pauline Chase had said that if the city and the company went ahead with the project this week, they would be in contempt of court. She had been asked whether there would be legal implications against the M&CC and SCS since there are pending High Court matters calling for the M&CC to show good reason why the contract should not be quashed.
Chase said that what has been ordered by the court in two actions is an ‘order nisi’ which means that persons need to prove why a specific order should not be changed.
“As far as my learning is concerned that nisi acts as a stay. So it ought to be stayed and in the very least, any matter before the court, parties should not take any step that would in any way render the proceedings void for any reason.”
She added that the court proceedings call for a stay and any act contrary to that would be in contempt of court or in the very least contemptuous. However, for this, the court would have to be moved by an application to so do.
Chase said, “I rather suspect that should Smart City Solutions take that step, you will see an application being moved to the court for contempt.”
At present there are two actions engaging the attention of the court. The first is being led by The New Building Society Limited challenging the placing of parking meters outside its Avenue of the Republic Office.
In that matter Justice Brassington Reynolds ordered Town Clerk Royston King and Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan to make presentations in the High Court – arguments as to why the parking meter project should not be rescinded.
The second action is being led by an employee of a law firm in Georgetown. Chief Justice (ag) Yonette Cummings-Edwards in that matter has ordered the Town Clerk Royston King and Mayor Patricia Chase-Green to present similar arguments.
The Movement Against Parking Meters is staging its fourth protest outside City Hall, today from 12-1pm.
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