The relatives of Chitnandani Ramdass, the Region Two woman who died on June 6, 2015 that the APNU+AFC claimed voted at the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections has written to the Registrar General, Louis Crawford, demanding an explanation for the unauthorized release of her death certificate in the media.
Through his Attorney, Glenn Hanoman, the dead woman’s son, Puran Manbode, has written to the Registrar General of the General Registrar Office (GRO) to provide copies of the application form requesting the death certificate; information on the identity of the person/s who requested the death certificate and copies of the payment of the $300 fee for the document.
The claim was made by APNU+AFC counting agent, Ganesh Mahipaul, in a Guyana Chronicle article complete with an image of a copy of the woman’s death certificate as ‘evidence’ of her voting at the March 2 polls.
The Coalition alleged that serial number 257 (Ramdass) was ticked off on the list indicating that the person voted although he/she was deceased.
This publication understands that there is no evidence to support the claims that someone voted for the woman.
The letter, seen by this publication, states that even after the allegation was proven to be untrue, “it has not stopped political agents of the APNU+AFC from distributing his mother’s certificate to the media.”
Coalition Executive, Amna Ally had told the media that a death certificate could be easily accessed at the GRO’s office after paying a fee of $300.
It was pointed out that to access someone’s personal records would be indirect conflict with law however, the Coalition cited the Registration of Births and Deaths Act which says “Everyone shall be entitled, on payment of the fees prescribed by the Minister by order, to search the indices between the hours of ten o’ clock in the morning and four o’clock in the afternoon of every day except on public holidays and Saturdays, and to have extracted therefrom a sealed certificate of birth in Form 4 or a sealed certificate of death in Form 5, as the case may be.”
Hanoman in his letter, however, cited the Section 33 (3) of the Access to Information Act 2011 of Guyana which says “A document referred to in subsection (1) shall not be released without the notarized consent of the person who is the subject of the information in the document. Pursuant to subsection (6), in the case of a deceased person, only his next of kin can give consent to access.”
That very argument was made by former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, who stated that for the party to be in possession of “countless” death certificates to be used as evidence would be in direct conflict with the law.
In an interview with this publication, grand-daughter of the late Ramdass [name withheld] stated that she did not issue permission to the party to obtain a copy of the death certificate at no time.
Family members had even published the woman’s original death certificate on a social media platform.
The copy that was published by the party was obtained on January 30, 2020 while the original death certificate was issued to the family on September 6, 2017. Notably, it did not bare the identification number for the dead woman while the original contained the same.
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