Dec 31, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – Senior Superintendent of Police, Calvin Brutus, has moved to the High Court in a bid to block promotions for senior members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) until the decision not to promote him is recanted. Brutus’ case is among a series of lawsuits filed in the High Court by police officers to block the promotions.
The court cases follow a recent row by top ranking officers of the GPF over promotions.
Earlier this month, seven senior police ranks wrote to the Police Service Commission (PSC) through their attorney, C. V. Satram, demanding all promotions be halted until outstanding disciplinary matters they are involved in, are concluded.
The ranks all hold senior positions and have matters that go as far back as 2016.
That request was formed on the basis that the PSC is allegedly using the pending matters the ranks are involved in as a direct means to stifle their promotions.
As such, in the Fixed Date Application (FDA) set to be heard by Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire at 10:00 hours today, Brutus outlined what he calls an irrational and unlawful practice of the PSC in the deliberation of its annual year-end promotions.According to FDA filed by his attorney, Brutus contends, among other things, that the practice of the Commission not to promote police officers with pending disciplinary complaints regardless of the nature or seriousness of such complaints perpetuates a permanent injustice against him and others who are scheduled for promotions.
He is therefore seeking several declarations from the Court, including a declaration that the policy of the PSC not to promote, or consider for promotion, ranks with pending disciplinary matters before it, is unlawful; a declaration that he is entitled to be promoted to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police; and an order of Certiorari quashing, nullifying and/or cancelling the decision of the PSC denying his appointment to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Additionally, the officer wants the Court to give several orders, including an order of Certiorari quashing, nullifying and/or cancelling the decision of the PSC to promote Edmond Cooper, Philip Azore and Kurleigh Simon, Senior Superintendents of Police to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police; an order of Mandamus compelling the Commission to reconsider its decision not to promote him in accordance with law and in accordance with his legitimate expectation; a declaration that he was entitled to be heard in accordance with the principles of natural justice prior to the decision taken by the Commission denying his promotion to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police; and a declaration that he is entitled to be heard in person on any reconsideration of the matter; a declaration that the Commission contravened his fundamental right to equality and equal protection of the law guaranteed by Article 149 D of the Constitution of Guyana; a declaration that the policy of the Commission not to promote or consider for promotion ranks with disciplinary matters is irrational and unlawful; and consequential order pursuant to Article 153 of the Constitution directing the Commission to appoint him in the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police.
In supporting documents for his application, Superintendent Brutus explained that recommendations for promotion made in respect of him and Fazil Karim Baksh, Senior Superintendent of Police and head of the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) have been ignored by the Commission in its decision to appoint officers to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police.
He said that it has been the practice of the Commission not to promote police officers with pending disciplinary complaints regardless of the nature or seriousness of such complaints.
“Trivial and unsubstantiated complaints have been accorded the same weight as grave or serious allegations of indiscipline in denying promotion to those against whom disciplinary complaints have been lodged which the Commission,” Brutus said in the claim, noting that he was appointed to the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police in 2015.
He explained that it was in October 2019, that it was alleged by the Deputy Commissioner – Administration, that he committed a breach of discipline. The Commission appointed Assistant Commissioner Andries-Junor to investigate the allegation.
A breach of discipline notice was not served upon Brutus until October 2020. However, he said that the investigation has not progressed beyond the issuance of the breach of discipline notice.
The officer explained further that in keeping with its practice, the Commission purportedly refused and/or failed to consider and/or denied him for promotion to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police relying on the said allegation of indiscipline. This, he says, is a frivolous allegation and he knows of no other reason why he was denied the promotion he was recommended for.
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