Attorney-at- law, Anil Nandlall has moved steps to file contempt proceeding against Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan over the non-payment of monies awarded as a result of litigation brought against the State.
Nandlall ‘s move to imprison the Minister of Finance for non-payment of the judgments comes hours after the Court awarded former Diplomat Harry Narine Nawbatt , a $25M judgment against the State.
Nandlall a former Attorney General, noted that similar cases were filed and after full blown trials, the court awarded judgment in favour of his clients to the tune of millions of dollars but the monies are yet to be paid.
The lawyer listed the case of the former Advisor to the Minister of Local Government, Clinton Collymore, Zulfikar Mustapha, former Liaison Officer to the Office of the President for Region Number Six and Anna Correia, who was employed by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs among the matters in which judgment was awarded against the State.
The matters were filed in 2015/2016. Nandlall noted that in all these cases, the plaintiffs sued for damages for wrongful dismissal/unlawful termination of their contracts of employment.
“Again, after a trial of each of these cases, my clients were vindicated that dismissals were unlawful and a violation of the person’s contract.
Judgments were awarded to each of them in various sums as compensation along with interest and costs.
“Attorney General (AG) Basil Williams was the Defendant in all of these cases. No appeal was filed against any of these decisions. Yet, the Attorney General has consistently refused to honour these judgments although we have made repeated written requests for him to do so.”
Nandlall stressed that litigants invested time, money, emotions and other resources in the matter and they therefore should be paid. In addition the awarded sums, Nandlall claimed that the State owes his Chambers legal cost estimated at $5M alone.
“There is a rule in law against levying on assets belonging to the State, so that option is not available for us to ensure the sums are paid. However, the judicial system must be able to enforce its own order. Needless to say, the relevant proceedings will be commenced shortly to commit the Minister of Finance to prison for non-payment of these judgments.
This is not the first time that the Finance Minister is facing contempt of court proceeding. Last year, two upset families threatened to jail Jordan for outstanding monies owed to each family by the Guyana Government as a judicial settlement.
The money is owed since 2014 when the previous PPP government was in office. Yadram Rooney of No 2 Village East Canje was shot by police inspector Cumberbatch on March 15, 2011 at his home.
Rooney was at home when a car driven by a gas station owner with Cumberbatch inside pulled up in front of his house. The men accosted him and demanded that he enter the car. The man refused and was shot by Cumberbatch. Police from New Amsterdam subsequently arrived and took Cumberbatch and others into custody.
Cumberbatch was released without being charged. Rooney who was seriously injured was hospitalized.
At the time Cumberbatch was working as an enforcer for a gas station owner on the East Coast Demerara.
The family, through their attorney Mursalene Bacchus, filed a $50M lawsuit in 2011 on the Attorney General of Guyana, at the time, Anil Nandlall, for damages and compensation for trespass (Assault and battery) to the person, resulting in injuries, losses and injury to his person.
The other matter involved Rawle Carter who was a teen at the time. He was picked up by a joint services patrol on the evening of Sunday June 19, 2011 whilst on his way home on his bicycle. He was dumped into a police pickup and thrown into the lock up with others at the Central Police Station. He was never told why he was arrested.
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