The ownership of the Berbice Anjuman Orphanage situated at Lot 30 Philadelphia Street, New Amsterdam Berbice has changed hands following a High Court decision handed down in the Berbice High Court by Justice Navendra Singh.
The matter was heard during the months of August and September 2017.
The dispute over the ownership of the orphanage between family members began in 2013.
The plaintiff, Abdool Jabor Rahim, sought and got judgment from the defendants, his brother, Abu Bakre Mandal, who was the occupant, and his father, Abdool Rahim.
In fact, his father Abdool Rahim subsequently joined him (Abdool Jabor Rahim) in seeking judgment for the property.
He was eventually ejected by Mandal.
The plaintiff was represented by prominent Attorney-at-law, Mursalene Bacchus. Attorney-at-law, Kumar Doorsami appeared for the defendants.
The matter was first filed in the High Court on 22nd July, 2013. Both the plaintiff and the defendants reside overseas and in Guyana.
The plaintiff claimed that he was always the owner of the property, but decided to go to court after his elder brother claimed that he was the owner.
He said that he assumed possession of the land in 1981. In 1988, the construction of the Orphanage began and was completed in 1989. Orphans began living there in 1990.
The defendants through their attorney Kumar Doorsami, made a number of counter claims.
They stated that the plaintiff (Abdool Jabor Rahim) was never in possession of the land, but it was the first named defendant (Abdool Rahim) who owns the land.
They also claimed that it was Abdool Rahim and not Abdool Jabor Rahim who constructed the orphanage.
Another contention was that the plaintiff’s name is Abdool Jabor Rahim and not Abdool Rahim and that Abdool Rahim is the father of both the plaintiff and the second defendant.
They also contended that lease No A16004 was made out in the name of Abdool Rahim and not Abdool Jaboor Rahim and that the lease was transferred to Abu Bakre Mandal.
They claimed that the plaintiff is an imposter who wants to dispossess his father and brother of the property and his claims are fraud and should be dismissed with cost.
However, during the trial, the elder Rahim sided with his younger son. He testified against his elder son and stated that he does not know much about Mandal counter claims.
At the conclusion of the case, Justice Singh ordered that judgment be awarded to the plaintiff.
He ordered that the plaintiff holds a lease (No. A 16004) for and is entitled to possession of plot ‘X’ being a portion of Lot 30 Stanleytown, New Amsterdam, Berbice.
It was furthered ordered that the transfer of the lease on 15th July 2013, is hereby recalled, revoked, and cancelled. The judge also ordered that a permanent injunction be granted, restraining the second named defendant his servants and or agents from entering and or remaining in the property. They were also ordered to pay cost in the sum of $100,000.
A memorandum was also ordered that pursuant to order 35, rule 5 of the rules of the High Court Act, Chapter 3.02
“If you the within named defendants’ neglect to obey this order by the time herein limited to will be liable”.
During the trial, the plaintiff through their attorney Mursalene Bacchus had amended their statement of claim. This was because during the trial, it was stated by the defendants that the lease was cancelled by the Lands and Survey and issued to Mandal.
The lease, No 2335 was shown on a plan deposited with the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission dated the 31st day of August 1990.
The Guyana Lands and Survey Commission which issued a provisional lease to the plaintiff on the 24th February 1981 was subsequently bought in as an added defendant. The plaintiff contended that the Lands and Survey Commission had no authority to transfer the lease.
He claimed that the unauthorised and unlawful transfer of the lease resulted in the loss of the entire property at the value of $50M. The Lands and Survey Commission was thus sued for $50M. Prior to the issuing of the provisional lease, he was given permission to occupy the land and construct a building to house an orphanage. He was still in possession of the property in 2003 when he was given the Lease, No. A16004.
All was well until 2011. He was overseas when he discovered that the defendants had taken control of the property.
This forced him to return home and sought legal advice and commenced legal proceedings.
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