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Thursday 16 August 2018
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Former judge goes after compensation

FORMER member of the Industrial Court Sam Maharaj will first have to establish whether he would have been reappointed after his term expired in November 2003, before he can advance his claim for compensation.

Attorneys for Maharaj and those representing the State are to advance arguments on whether Maharaj would have been reappointed to the court, having won his judicial review claim before the question of compensation is dealt with.

Justice Frank Seepersad, in a written decision delivered in the Port of Spain High Court yesterday, said the issue of entitlement to compensation has to be first established by Maharaj.

He said having considered the Privy Council’s ruling on Maharaj’s claim, that court ordered that any assessment of compensation was contingent on a determination as to whether there exists any entitlement.

He said the issues to be determined before the court embarks on an assessment of compensation include whether Maharaj would have been reappointed a judge of the Industrial Court, after his term expired on November 17, 2003; whether he was entitled to advance a claim for loss of a chance to be reappointed on the basis that his application was not fairly determined; and whether he should be awarded compensation as redress for breach of his rights.

In December 2016, five months after prime minister Patrick Manning’s death, the London-based Privy Council delivered a ruling in favour of Maharaj and sent his case back to the High Court to determine compensation.

Maharaj, a former general secretary of the All Trinidad Sugar and General Workers Trade Union, took his fight to the Privy Council seeking to be compensated over the refusal of the Manning Cabinet to renew his contract as an industrial court member in 2000.

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