Jan 06, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Four more officers have joined the court action over the unfair practices used in the promotion of senior ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF).
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ravindra Stanley; Superintendent Of Police, Shivpersaud Bacchus; Assistant Superintendent of Police, Shavon Jupiter, and Inspector of Police, Prem Narine, have filed separate court actions asking the High Court for several declarations including one that the policy of the PSC not to promote, or consider for promotion, ranks with pending disciplinary matters before it, is unlawful.
They are also asking for a declaration that they are entitled to be promoted and an order of Certiorari quashing, nullifying and/or cancelling the decision of the Police Service Commission(PSC) denying their appointments.
The filing, on behalf of the four officers, by attorney-at-law, C.V. Satram, follows a similar Fixed Date Application (FDA) by senior police officer, Calvin Brutus, who challenged the PSC’s decision not to promote him. Much like the other cops, Brutus highlighted what he termed an irrational and unlawful practice of the PSC in the deliberation of its annual year-end promotions.
He contended, 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.
In terms of the four officers, similar contentions were raised. Officer Jupiter in her application to the Court noted that she joined the Guyana Police Force on December1, 2005, and has served with integrity, discipline, commitment and dedication over the past 15 years and in recognition of this, she was promoted to the rank of Woman Assistant Superintendent of Police in the month of December 2018.
She said that prior to 2018, she was never been cited, charged or found guilty of any indiscipline or offence. The officer noted that as such allegations before the PSC that she acted in breach of discipline are wholly frivolous, lacks any merit and cannot be substantiated.
As a result, she believes the decision of the PSC not to promote her is unlawful, fundamentally unfair, irrational, unreasonable and arbitrary and should be reversed.
In the case of officer Bacchus, he contended that he was appointed to the rank of Superintendent of Police in 2016.
In August, 2020, the applicant said it was alleged that he committed a breach of discipline related to an incident at the Felix Austin Police College. According to Bacchus, the PSC appointed Senior Superintendent, R. Budhram, to investigate the allegation but a breach of discipline notice was never served on him.
He claimed, too, that he was never fully made aware of the particulars of the allegations against him. He said that in keeping with its practice, the Commission nonetheless purportedly refused and/or failed to consider and/or denied him for promotion to the office of Super Superintendent of Police, relying on the allegation of indiscipline.
Prior to 2020, Deputy Superintendent of Police Ravindra Stanley claimed that he had never been cited, charged or found guilty of any indiscipline or offence.
As such, he said the allegations of breach of discipline made against him are wholly frivolous and completely lacking in merit.
The officer said that he learnt in January 2020, that he was under investigation for a breach of discipline that allegedly occurred in June 2018. At the time, he was performing the duties of Deputy Commander of “C” Division. Prior to that, he said he was never informed by the Commission of any complaint.
According to him, the frivolous disciplinary proceeding has been pending for two years without resolve and he knows of no other reason why he was denied the promotion.
Inspector Narine also listed similar grounds in his application to overturn the decision of the PSC. He noted that in March 2020, it was alleged that he committed a breach of discipline related to his alleged absence from duty at the La Grange Police Station, West Bank Demerara.
The officer claimed that the breach of discipline notice was never served on him until the 6th day of November 2020. He said that he submitted a Statement to Deputy Superintendent Terrance Brown. No response was given to that statement.
As such, 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 Superintendent of Police relying on the said allegation of indiscipline.
“The allegation is frivolous,” he said adding that “he knows of no other reason why he was denied the promotion.”
The filings by the four officers follow a temporary order issued by the Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George-Wiltshire to put the promotions on hold in wake of the complaints.
Some of the issues related to the case against the GPF and PSC are expected to be ventilated on January 12, 2021 before the judge.
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