Pres­i­dent’s di­rec­tive to PSC taken to Court

Weekend Mirror - - EDITORIAL -

At­tor­ney

at Law, Ra­jen­dra Jaigobin has ap­proached the High Court of Guyana to hear his con­tentions against the di­rec­tive by Pres­i­dent David Granger to the Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion.

Jaigobin wants the Court to find that the Pres­i­dent’s in­struc­tion to the Com­mis­sion is un­con­sti­tu­tional and should be struck down.

The mat­ter came to the pub­lic when the Op­po­si­tion PPP made a state­ment con­demn­ing the Pres­i­dent’s move to give or­ders to the Com­mis­sion say­ing the Com­mis­sion is in­de­pen­dent.

For­mer At­tor­ney Gen­eral, Anil Nand­lall, later wrote to Min­is­ter Joseph Har­mon, who wrote the Com­mis­sion on the Pres­i­dent’s be­half, stat­ing that the let­ter should be with­drawn. Re­fus­ing to so would lead to the mat­ter be­ing chal­lenged in the Courts.

The let­ter has not been with­drawn. In fact re­cently, the Pres­i­dent de­fended his ac­tion.

Be­low are ex­cerpts of the af­fi­davit filed by Mr. Jaigobin who is be­ing rep­re­sented by Mr. Anil Nand­lall.

AF­FI­DAVIT OF RA­JEN­DRA R. JAIGOBIN

I, RA­JEN­DRA R. JAIGOBIN, of 217 South Road, La­cy­town, Ge­orge­town, Guyana, Ap­pli­cant, MAKE OATH AND SAY:

1. I am the Ap­pli­cant herein and the facts and mat­ters here­inafter de­posed are within my personal knowl­edge save and ex­cept where oth­er­wise stated.

2. I am an At­tor­ney-at-Law by pro­fes­sion ad­mit­ted to prac­tice and prac­tic­ing be­fore the Courts in the Repub­lic of Guyana.

3. I am a cit­i­zen of the Co­op­er­a­tive of the Repub­lic of Guyana by birth and I per­ma­nently re­side in Guyana.

4. I am a reg­is­tered elec­tor who voted at the May, 11th 2015, Gen­eral and Re­gional Elec­tion.

5. Ar­ti­cle 1 of the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Co­op­er­a­tive Repub­lic of Guyana de­clares Guyana to be a demo­cratic sov­er­eign State.

6. Ar­ti­cle 9 of the said Con­sti­tu­tion vests sovereignty in the peo­ple who shall ex­er­cise it through their rep­re­sen­ta­tives and the demo­cratic or­gans es­tab­lished by or un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion;

7. I have a vested in­ter­est in en­sur­ing that the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Co­op­er­a­tive Repub­lic of Guyana, the supreme law of this land by virtue of Ar­ti­cle 8, is not vi­o­lated. 8. Indeed, I con­sider it my na­tional duty to en­sure that those rep­re­sen­ta­tives who, and the demo­cratic or­gans which, ex­er­cise the sovereignty of Guyana on my be­half act in due com­pli­ance with the said Con­sti­tu­tion in the dis­charge of their pub­lic func­tions and con­sti­tu­tional du­ties.

9. The Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion is an in­de­pen­dent Con­sti­tu­tional Com­mis­sion tasked with the re­spon­si­bil­ity and power to make ap­point­ments to of­fices within the Guyana Po­lice Force and to re­move and to ex­er­cise dis­ci­plinary con­trol over per­sons hold­ing or act­ing in such of­fices and also is re­spon­si­ble for the pro­mo­tion and de­mo­tion to of­fices within the said Guyana Po­lice Force.

10. On the 26th day of July, 2017, the Hon­ourable Mr. Joseph Har­mon, Min­is­ter of State and a mem­ber of the Ex­ec­u­tive, wrote to the Sec­re­tary of the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion in the fol­low­ing terms:

“His Ex­cel­lency, Pres­i­dent David Granger, has di­rected that there be no con­sid­er­a­tion of pro­mo­tions for mem­bers of the Guyana Po­lice Force by the Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, un­til fur­ther no­tice.

I should be grate­ful if you would bring His Ex­cel­lency’s di­rec­tive to the im­me­di­ate at­ten­tion of the Com­mis­sion. 11. Ar­ti­cle 212 (1) of the Con­sti­tu­tion states:

“sub­ject to the pro­vi­sion of ar­ti­cle 211 (1), the power to make ap­point­ments to any of­fices in the Po­lice Force of or the above the rank of In­spec­tor, the power to ex­er­cise dis­ci­plinary con­trol over per­sons hold­ing or act­ing in such of­fices and the power to re­move such per­sons from of­fice shall vest in the Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion”.

12. Ar­ti­cle 226 of the Con­sti­tu­tion pro­vides thus:

Ar­ti­cle 226(1) “Save as

RA­JEN­DRA R. JAIGOBIN

oth­er­wise pro­vided in this Con­sti­tu­tion, in the ex­er­cise of its func­tions un­der this Con­sti­tu­tion a Com­mis­sion shall not be sub­ject to the di­rec­tion or con­trol of any other per­son or author­ity”

13. Fur­ther, Ar­ti­cle 226(7) of the Con­sti­tu­tion pro­vides thus:

“in this ar­ti­cle…the ex­pres­sion ‘com­mis­sion’ means the Elec­tions Com­mis­sion, the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, the Teach­ing Ser­vice Com­mis­sion or the Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion” 14. Ar­ti­cle 38(G) of the Con­sti­tu­tion guar­an­tees the in­tegrity of Pub­lic Ser­vice and fur­ther in­su­lates Pub­lic Of­fi­cer from po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence. 15. That it is clear that the said let­ter and its con­tents are in fla­grant vi­o­la­tion of the let­ter, spirit and the in­tend­ment of Ar­ti­cles 38(G), 212 and 206 of the Con­sti­tu­tion of Guyana.

16. As a re­sult, on the 14th day of Au­gust, 2017, I caused my At­tor­neys-at-Law to write to the Re­spon­dent in the fol­low­ing terms:

“Mr. Joseph Har­mon M.S.M MP

Min­is­ter of State Min­istry of the Pres­i­dency

Dear Sir,

Re: Pro­posed Le­gal Pro­ceed­ings

I re­fer to your let­ter dated 2017- 07- 26, ad­dressed to Mar­va­lyn Stephens, Sec­re­tary, Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, Water­loo Street, Ge­orge­town.

In that let­ter, you in­formed Ms. Stephens that: “His Ex­cel­lency, Pres­i­dent David Granger, has di­rected that there be no con­sid­er­a­tion of pro­mo­tions for mem­bers of the Guyana Po­lice Force by the Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, un­til fur­ther no­tice.”

You fur­ther re­quested Ms. Stephens to: “bring His Ex­cel­lency’s di­rec­tive to the im­me­di­ate at­ten­tion of the Com­mis­sion.”

Please be in­formed that your let­ter and its con­tents con­sti­tute a most egre­gious vi­o­la­tion of both the let­ter and spirit of Ar­ti­cle 226(1) of the Con­sti­tu­tion, the rel­e­vant part of which reads thus:

“…in the ex­er­cise of its func­tions un­der this Con­sti­tu­tion, a Com­mis­sion shall not be sub­ject to the di­rec­tion or con­trol of any other per­son or author­ity”

Fur­ther, Ar­ti­cle 226(7) pro­vides thus:

“in this ar­ti­cle…the ex­pres­sion ‘com­mis­sion’ means the Elec­tions Com­mis­sion, the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, the Teach­ing Ser­vice Com­mis­sion or the Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion.”

I take this op­por­tu­nity to re­mind you that in a let­ter dated 28th of May, 2015, an­other Min­is­ter of your Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Ms. Se­mona Broomes, Min­is­ter within the Min­istry of So­cial Pro­tec­tion (as she then was), pur­ported to is­sue sim­i­lar di­rec­tions to the Sec­re­tary of the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, al­legedly on be­half of His Ex­cel­lency, the Pres­i­dent. The of­fen­sive por­tion of that let­ter reads thus:

“Please be ad­vised that all in­ter­views and meet­ings of the Com­mis­sion are to cease forth­with un­til fur­ther as in­structed by His Ex­cel­lency, the Pres­i­dent, David Arthur Granger’s no­tice”. (sic)

I am en­clos­ing a copy of the said let­ter for your ease of ref­er­ence.

As a re­sult, rep­re­sent­ing Mr. Eu­clin Gomes, a cit­i­zen of Guyana, in­ter­ested in con­sti­tu­tional com­pli­ance, on the 8th day of June, 2015, I launched le­gal pro­ceed­ings against the At­tor­ney Gen­eral, (2015-HC-DEM-CIVCM-49), in which I claimed, in­ter alia, the fol­low­ing re­liefs:

(i) a dec­la­ra­tion that the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, a Com­mis­sion es­tab­lished by the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Co­op­er­a­tive Repub­lic of Guyana, in the ex­er­cise of its func­tions shall not be sub­ject to the di­rec­tion or con­trol of any other per­son or author­ity;

(ii) a dec­la­ra­tion that a let­ter dated the 28th of May, 2015, di­rected to the Sec­re­tary of the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, a Com­mis­sion es­tab­lished by the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Co­op­er­a­tive Repub­lic of Guyana, by Ms. Se­mona Broomes, A Min­is­ter and a mem­ber of the Ex­ec­u­tive, ad­vis­ing that “all in­ter­views and meet­ings of the Com­mis­sion are to cease forth­with un­til fur­ther (sic) as in­structed by His Ex­cel­lency, the Pres­i­dent, David Arthur Granger’s no­tice”, is in vi­o­la­tion of Ar­ti­cle 226 of the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Co­op­er­a­tive of Guyana, is un­law­ful, null, void and of no le­gal ef­fect.

I am en­clos­ing a copy of the No­tice of Mo­tion for your ease of ref­er­ence.

The mat­ter was heard by the then Hon­ourable Chief Jus­tice, Mr. Ian Chang, S.C. On the 24th day of June, 2015, the Hon­ourable Chief Jus­tice granted the fol­low­ing Or­ders with the con­sent of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral:

“…UPON READ­ING the No­tice of Mo­tion on the part of EU­CLIN GOMES, the above-named Ap­pli­cant filed herein on the 8th day of June, 2015, AND the Af­fi­davit of the said Ap­pli­cant sworn to on the 8th day of June, 2015, and filed in support of the said Ap­pli­ca­tion AND UPON HEAR­ING At­tor­ney-at-Law for the Ap­pli­cant IT IS BY CON­SENT OR­DERED AND DE­CLARED that the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, a Com­mis­sion es­tab­lished by the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Co­op­er­a­tive Repub­lic of Guyana, in the ex­er­cise of its func­tions shall not be sub­ject to the di­rec­tion or con­trol of any other per­son or author­ity AND IT IS BY CON­SENT FUR­THER OR­DERED AND DE­CLARED that a let­ter dated the 28th of May, 2015, di­rected to the Sec­re­tary of the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, a Com­mis­sion es­tab­lished by the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Co­op­er­a­tive Repub­lic of Guyana, by Ms. Se­mona Broomes, A Min­is­ter and a mem­ber of the Ex­ec­u­tive, ad­vis­ing that “all in­ter­views and meet­ings of the Com­mis­sion are to cease forth­with un­til fur­ther (sic) as in­structed by His Ex­cel­lency, the Pres­i­dent, David Arthur Granger’s no­tice”, is in vi­o­la­tion of Ar­ti­cle 226 of the Con­sti­tu­tion of the Co­op­er­a­tive of Guyana, is un­law­ful, null, void and of no le­gal ef­fect…”

I en­close herein a copy of the said Or­der for your ease of ref­er­ence.

As an At­tor­ney-at-Law, I have no doubt that you ap­pre­ci­ate that the Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion and the Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion form part of the same con­sti­tu­tional genus and there­fore, the Or­der of Chief Jus­tice Chang will ap­ply with equal force to your let­ter to the Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, mu­tatis mu­tan­dis. Indeed, I ex­press shock that you would au­thor such a let­ter in the first place.

In the cir­cum­stances, I re­spect­fully de­mand that you with­draw, in writ­ing, your let­ter dated 2017-0726, ad­dressed to Mar­va­lyn Stephens, Sec­re­tary, Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion, Water­loo Street, Ge­orge­town, within two (2) days of the date hereof. If you fail to do so, I will have no al­ter­na­tive but to in­sti­tute le­gal pro­ceed­ings in re­la­tion thereto.

Mo­habir A. Nand­lall, MP

At­tor­ney-at-law

I hereto at­tach and mark ex­hibits “B”, “C” and “D” copies of let­ter dated 14th day of Au­gust, 2017, let­ter dated the 28th of May, 2015, and Or­der of the Hon­ourable Chief Jus­tice, Mr. Ian Chang, (In Cham­bers), dated the 24th day of June, 2015.

17. To date, there has been no re­sponse to the said let­ter.

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