High Court Judge, Justice Jo Ann Barlow on Friday deemed the execution of a sale of an Eccles property by court marshals unlawful.
This ruling came in an action filed by the owner of the property, Sharmilla Persaud, who had borrowed money from the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry Limited to fund her Sawmill business but defaulted on her repayments.
In a detailed statement, Attorney, Lyndon Amsterdam, who represented Persaud, explained that his client was taken to Court by the bank over the money owed.
“On 18th February, 2016 Justice Diana Insanally granted judgment to the Bank on two Mortgages totaling in excess of $16 Million together with Interest at 17% per annum. Sharmilla Persaud had used her property at Lot 253 BB Eccles, East Bank Demerara as security for the mortgage.”
According to the lawyer, on September 12, 2017, the property was put up for sale by the marshals of the High Court and members of the public bid to purchase the property. Eventually, Rohan Singh was declared the highest bidder at $40 Million.
The lawyer said the marshals who conducted the sale namely, Patrick Higgins and Earl Smartt, claimed that when they then requested that Rohan Singh pay a sum of $200,000 to secure the bid, he did not have the money and asked for time to go get the money.
Apparently, he returned in about twenty (20) minutes and offered to pay the $200,000 requested. The marshals disputed this. They then enquired if he had the 25% deposit that is required to be paid by a winning bidder, but he replied ‘no’ and stated he had to get a loan. The marshals determined that he did not have money and repudiated his winning bid.”
The information outlined that the marshals then offered the property to Dionne Thomas-Fraser who had bid $21.5 Million and she agreed to purchase the property. She was allowed to pay the sum of $200,000 to secure the bid and later purchased a manager‘s cheque to satisfy the 25% statutory requirement. The marshals claimed that she was the next highest bidder.
Further, it said Sharmila Persaud and Rohan Singh being dissatisfied with the actions of the marshals, filed a Claim against them and the Registrar and Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court to set aside the sale and also asked for damages for breach of statutory duty.
They also applied for Injunctions to prevent the sale of the property to Dionne Thomas-Fraser, but the Injunctions were refused by Justice Sandil Kissoon before whom the Application was made.
During the hearing of the applications for Injunctions, Justice Kissoon made orders joining the Bank as an added party to the claim.
As such, the lawyer noted that when the execution of sale documents were examined by the Court, it revealed that there was an explanation which said, ‘sold to the lowest bidder at the instance of GBTI’ and there was a signature to the footnote.
According to Amsterdam, the Judge also found that the evidence of the marshals contradicted each other and was in some aspects unsatisfactory and therefore she was unable to determine how many persons bid for the property and the amounts bid by those persons.
In her ruling, Justice Barlow ruled that the marshals were right to decide that Rohan Singh had rescinded his winning bid by not having money to secure the bid and therefore dismissed his claim against the defendants.
The Judge then considered whether the actions of the marshals to sell the property to Dionne Thomas-Fraser were lawful.
“The Judge found that the marshals had selected who to sell the property to after the winning bid failed rather than offer the property for sale in another auction and their actions were in violation of the rules of the High Court and established practice and therefore set aside the sale to Fraser.
She ruled that the marshals cannot select a bidder and offer for sale properties being sold at execution after the winning bidder failed to pursue the sale.
In the trial, the Attorney General Chambers represented the marshals and the registrar and deputy registrar of the court, while senior counsel, Robin Stoby represented Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry and Mr. Collis Baveghems represented Dionne Thomas-Fraser.
Jun 05, 2020By Sean Devers Guyana and West Indies leftarm-spinner Veersammy Permaul is disappointed with his non-selection in a 25-member touring party selected to tour England for a Three-Test series next month...
Jun 04, 2020
Jun 04, 2020
Jun 04, 2020
Jun 03, 2020
Jun 03, 2020
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]