It is not often that one finds two men with the same name and both
of them being lawyers and are almost the same age. However, that was just the case yesterday.
Mr. Rajendra Nath Poonai, an attorney-at-law of distinguished service was conferred with the award of Senior Counsel on Wednesday. He joined Mr. Robert Ramcharran, Mrs. Carole James-Boston, Mrs. Shalimar Ali-Hack, and Mr. Stephen Fraser.
A background check on the name Rajendra Poonai uncovered that a Rajendra Poonai was convicted in Brampton, Ontario for his role in a multi-million mortgage fraud. That information was then affixed to Senior Counsel Poonai.
The records would show, however, that the Senior Counsel never practised law in Canada, so he could not have been convicted in that North American country.
In the wake of the publication, the Guyana Bar Council, in a press statement, noted, “The Bar Council of the Bar Association of Guyana wholly condemns the false, irresponsible and libelous report in Kaieteur News of May 23, 2019 under the headline ‘Attorney Convicted of Fraud in Canada Appointed Senior Counsel’ which, without any justification whatsoever, attempts to bring Mr. Rajendra Nath Poonai S.C. into disrepute and lower him in the estimation of right-thinking members of society.
“Mr. Rajendra Nath Poonai, S.C. was never convicted of any crime and/or disbarred in Canada as alleged nor has he ever practised law in Canada. “
The offending article was removed from the electronic edition as soon as the error was revealed. No malice was intended. Mr. Poonai was contacted and an apology was duly offered.
Kaieteur News unreservedly apologises to Mr. Poonai. It also regrets the embarrassment caused to Mr. Poonai as soon as he was conferred with the highest award in the legal profession.
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