Attorney General Basil Williams has been ordered to pay $10,000 in court cost to Attorney Anil Nandlall, before he files an affidavit in response to action against the State by Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Carvil Duncan.
The matter continued before Justice Franklyn Holder at the High Court in Georgetown, on Tuesday. The date was fixed for Mr. Duncan and his Confidential Secretary to take the witness stand.
Nandlall appeared for Duncan and was prepared to proceed. However, the Attorney General (AG), who is appearing for the Prime Minister, informed the court that he was not prepared to proceed with cross-examination, because an affidavit which the court granted him leave to file over a month ago was not yet filed.
The AG claimed that he needed to file that Affidavit before he could begin cross-examination and he requested further time to do so. The court therefore granted him one week to do so and ordered that he pay costs to Nandlall in the sum of ten thousand dollars before the affidavit is filed.
The sum represents cost for the AG’s unpreparedness to proceed with the matter on the date fixed by the court.
The date was also fixed for the court to reconcile this crucial inconsistency between the various affidavits. In order to do so, Justice Holder ordered the parties to be cross-examined. The matter is fixed for continuation on Wednesday the 15th March, 2017 at 09:15 hours.
The case was filed last October after Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Carvil Duncan, through his attorney, approached the High Court seeking an order to suspend the work of a Presidential Tribunal that had been set up to determine whether the criminal charges he is currently facing is enough to have him removed from office.
That order was granted by Justice Holder. It prohibits the three-member Tribunal from investigating and pronouncing on whether Duncan should remain a Member of the Public Service Commission, Judicial Service Commission and the Police Service Commission.
Nandlall has told the court in writing that the inquiry by the Tribunal prejudices Carvil Duncan’s fair trial rights.
Nandlall also said that the grounds upon which the Tribunal was launched are unlawful, unconstitutional, premature, prejudicial, contrary to the rules of natural justice, arbitrary, capricious, in breach of Duncan’s legitimate expectation and is null, void and of no effect.
Justice Holder therefore quashed Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo’s advice to President David Granger that the question of removing Duncan from those Commissions ought to be investigated on similar grounds of it being unlawful.
Duncan said in court papers that he never received the Prime Minister’s letter asking him to show cause why a Tribunal should not have been set up to investigate his removal from office. He said he was never afforded an opportunity to be heard.
Additionally, Duncan contended that “no hearing was afforded to me prior to the Prime Minister tendering his advice to the President to launch that my removal from office should be investigated pursuant to Article 225 (4) of the Constitution and therefore, the tribunal itself was unlawfully established, and that the course of action which the tribunal is embarking upon is in violation of and repugnant to the presumption of innocence accorded to me as a fundamental right and freedom by Article 144 of the Constitution and therefore the tribunal will be acting unconstitutionally, unlawfully and illegally”.
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