Nov 05, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The appeal case between the New Building Society (NBS) and its former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Maurice Arjoon, has been deferred yet again.
The matter, which came up before the Appeal Court on Monday, was adjourned to December 16; in this instance, it is to facilitate the Court’s considerations of a judge’s request to recuse herself from the matter. Arjoon and the Mortgage Financing Institution have been locked in a court battle for over 12 years now.
The court case came about after the former CEO filed a lawsuit challenging the grounds by which he was dismissed from his job. Arjoon and two of his managers were fired on allegations fraud. The men endured negative publicity, as well as a trial in Magistrate Court, before they were cleared of the charges.
An Ombudsman’s report had later confirmed Arjoon’s contention that he was framed for refusing to lend some $2B of NBS’ money to the Bharrat Jagdeo- led government for the construction of the Berbice River Bridge.
Arjoon and another manager (Kent Vincent) then turned around and filed separate lawsuits suing the institution for wrongful dismissal. Arjoon’s matter dragged on for more than six years in the High Court before the Court eventually granted a $79M judgment in his favour. However, the matter did not end there, as NBS appealed the Court’s decision to pay Arjoon.
The matter which was filed in 2017 came up for hearing on Monday at the Appeal Court in Kingston.
During the hearing, NBS’s attorney Pauline Chase began to present arguments on matters when, Justice Dawn Gregory, one of the sitting Justices of Appeal, made objection to the contents being presented. Justice Gregory had dealt with Arjoon’s malicious prosecution while she was a sitting judge in the High court. The judge had dismissed Arjoon‘s case. In this regard, Justice Gregory noted she believes that her presence in the appeal case ought not to continue.
“I was involved in one of the matters and I don’t know how those findings will impact on what is taking place now and so I would want to recuse myself from this appeal…,”the judge stated during the hearing on Monday.
Arjoon’s attorney, Edward Luckhoo, SC, noted that while he is aware of Justice Gregory‘s previous involvement in the matter, he has full confidence that it would not affect her ability to adequate adjudicate in the appeal matter.
The lawyer added: “It is my personal view that this does not at all disqualify your honour from sitting in these proceedings, which involves entirely different issues…I have the fullest confidence that your honour would properly adjudicate on [the matter]…”
Luckhoo noted nonetheless that the request by the Judge is one for the Court to consider. In this regard, the case has been adjourned to December 16, 2021.
NBS had moved to the Appeal Court some five years ago, challenging the recent $79M judgment in favour of dismissed manager Maurice Arjoon. The company cited more than a dozen grounds, including that it was erroneous and that pension cannot be awarded together with severance and other benefits when an employee is terminated or dismissed.
Back then, following the court’s computation from estimates submitted by Arjoon’s lawyers, a total of $79,282,801 was awarded to Arjoon on July 20, 2017 days after Justice Brassington Reynolds ruled that the former employee was entitled to recover all benefits that were lost as a result of the dismissal.
In its appeal, NBS noted that, under the basis of the trial judge’s conclusion, Arjoon was dismissed wrongfully; hence, he was not entitled to severance pay by virtue of his status and contracts and according to the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act.
NBS is contending that pension cannot be awarded in conjunction with severance or any other benefit that relates to termination or dismissal; and that the judge was wrong in law for disregarding the complete systems manual tendered by the society which showed Arjoon did not comply with it.
Among the other grounds the NBS advanced are that the judge’s decision was erroneous on a point of law, that the pension ordered to be paid is not in accordance with the relevant pension rules, and that the court’s system of arriving at the amount had not yet been disclosed.
Nov 30, 2021– Foster unveil plans to produce ten West Indies players at all levels in two years Kaieteur News – “On behalf of the Berbice Cricket Board, I would like to welcome you back as an...
Nov 30, 2021
Nov 30, 2021
Nov 30, 2021
Nov 30, 2021
Nov 30, 2021
Kaieteur News – One night, moons ago, as editor-in-chief of the Kaieteur News, Adam Harris and I were discussing my... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – COP26 in Glasgow offered no hope to small island states which continue to face... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, 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]