Jan 01, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Chief Justice (Ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire yesterday granted an order which instructs that the current status quo in the Guyana Police Force (GPF) remain until the matter which was filed to challenge the Police Service Commission (PSC)’s procedure for promotion is heard before her on January 12, 2021 at 10:00 am.
The temporary order follows a request by Senior Superintendent of Police, Calvin Brutus, who had 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’s case is among a series of lawsuits filed in the High Court by police officers to block the promotions.
Yesterday, the Chief Justice briefly heard from parties involved in the matter. Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall S.C who is representing the interest of the State in the matter had specifically
requested that the matter be put off until second week in January. He said that in the interim, he will be able to study the case and understand what caused the breakdown in the institution. He noted nonetheless that he will be asking for the case to be withdrawn.
In the meantime, the Attorney General said that the PSC will hold its hands in going ahead with the promotions.
The Fixed Date Application (FDA) set to be heard by the Chief Justice outlines what Brutus 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.
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, which the ranks are involved in as a direct means to stifle their promotions.
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