High Court Judge Jo Ann Barlow recently ordered the Registrar of Deeds to cancel Transport No. 823 of 2007 dated August 23, 2007 in relation to property situated on parcel of lands ‘I’ and ‘J’ parts of front lands of plantation Zeelandia situated in the island of Wakenaam in the country of Essequibo and colony of British Guiana, and block numbered 3 being a piece or parcel of land also part of plantation Zeelandia situated in the island of Wakenaam.
The Judge found that the transport was obtained fraudulently by Nandani Persaud, one of the children of the late Adjudiah Persaud, who had made a Will dated August 16, 1977 for which he appointed another daughter, Mehendi Chapelle, Executrix of his estate. Chapelle, had however, migrated to Canada and appointed Nandani as her Power of Attorney to apply for Probate.
Nandani acting as Power of Attorney for Chapelle applied for Probate in May 2000 and on the 2nd of August, 2000, Probate of the Estate of her late father was granted to her. However, on February 14, 2000, Nandani filed an application in the High Court in which she prayed for the following Order: “That the Honourable Court under the provisions of Section 35 of the Deeds Registry Act, Chapter 5:01 instruct the Registrar of Deeds to have Title for the said properties described in the said Transports Nos. 1245 of 1954 and 1246 of 1954 passed to her as donated to her under the Deed of Gift dated 26th August, 1976, which has been lost.”
Nandani had sworn to an Affidavit in Support of an application that her father had given her a Deed of Gift on 26th August, 1976 of the property. She further swore that the Deed of Gift was lost. The Court had granted her application and as a result transport of the property was transported to her on the 23rd of August 2007.
Nandani had not in her application stated that her father left a Will, nor that she had been appointed the Power of Attorney of the Executrix of the Will and that she had also applied for Probate for her father’s estate. Further, on November 30, 1995, Nandani acting on the Power of Attorney submitted to the Guyana Revenue Authority a Statement of the Assets and Liabilities of her late father in which two properties which were devised to her siblings, Mangal and Dineash Persaud, were contained as part of the Assets.
In the circumstances, Mangal and Dineash, hereinafter referred to as the Claimants, took Nandani to court where they contended that they only became aware that the property has been transferred from their late father to Nandani in October 2016, when a check was made for the payment of rates and taxes and that within a year of that discovery, the claim was filed for an Order, that the transport was obtained by fraud and that it be cancelled.
According to K.A. Juman-Yassin, S.C., attorney-at-law for the claimants, “The court in its judgment found that Nandani indeed had committed a fraud in that she had failed to inform the court in her application for the property to be transferred to her as a result of the purported gift by her father by not informing the court that she had been appointed the Executrix of the estate of her father and that she had applied for Probate for the said estate which include the transports of the land, which she claimed was given to her as a gift by her father and for which she obtained Transport.”
The Court held that as she had been appointed Power of Attorney by the Executrix and had obtained probate of the estate, Nandani had committed a fraud. As a consequence, Justice Barlow ordered the Registrar of Deed to cancel the Transport obtained by her and awarded costs against her to the claimants in the sum of $150,000. Nandani was represented by attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes.
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