The decision by former Commissioner of Police (ag), David Ramnarine, to send former head of the SWAT unit, Motie Dookie, home on special leave, has been overturned by the High Court.
Yesterday, Justice Fidela Corbin-Lincoln granted orders quashing the decision of Ramnarine, made on the 21st day of May.
The decision saw Dookie being sent on “Special Leave in the Public Interest”.
Dookie fought the decision on the grounds that it was unconstitutional, contrary to the rules of natural justice, unreasonable, unlawful, null, void, and of no effect, among other things.
On June 15th, 2018, Dookie through his attorneys – Anil Nandlall, Manoj Narayan, Rajendra Jaigobin and Anuradha Deodasingh – filed an application against Ramnarine and the Attorney General challenging the decision of the police chief to send him on special leave in the public interest.
Ramnarine was represented by the Attorney General.
The judge yesterday also ordered Ramnarine and the Attorney General to pay to the applicant $100,000 within 21 days.
The Deputy Superintendent of Police reportedly landed himself in trouble late last year after he was found in a minibus in Berbice with several cases of Johnny Walker whisky believed to have been smuggled. He was first removed from the position, then transferred to a ward of the city, in the police ‘A’ Division.
However, Citizenship Minister Winston Felix, who was performing the duties of Minister of Public Security, in the absence of the substantive minister, Khemraj Ramjattan who was overseas, sent Dookie on “Special Leave in the Public Interest”.
In the court case, Dookie argued that the Police Commissioner (Ag) had no authority. Rather, the authority lay in the Police Service Commission. At the time there was no constituted commission.
Dookie asked for a Writ of Certiorari quashing the decision of Ramnarine. In his sworn affidavit, he had said that prior to receiving the letter dated 21st day of May 2018 to send him on special leave, he was not offered an opportunity to provide any explanation, or reason or show cause why he should not be sent on leave.
It was stated that the Constitution vests in the Police Service Commission, in accordance with Article 212(1) of the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the sole and exclusive jurisdiction and authority to exercise disciplinary control in respect of a police officer of his rank, in the Police Service Commission.
Dookie said that his legal advice indicates, therefore, that the decision was contrary to the rules of natural justice, unreasonable, unlawful, and null and void.
Minister Felix had reportedly instructed the Permanent Secretary of the Public Service ministry, Danielle McCalmon, to take the necessary action.
Felix later told this newspaper that having Dookie around while the issue was hanging over his head, and him being in a position of authority, sends the wrong message to the junior ranks whom he (Dookie) had to preside over.
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