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Thursday 20 September 2018
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Judge stops promotion of cops

A HIGH Court judge has ordered the Commissioner of Police to reserve 12 positions for the rank of sergeant until she gives a ruling on a lawsuit filed last year by a group of police officers who challenged the promotion exercise.

Justice Joan Charles, last week, granted the order and leave to the policemen to pursue their judicial review claim against the commissioner after he or his legal representatives failed to appear in court for the hearing.

As part of her orders, the judge also ordered that the commissioner provide the police officers with the information they sought on the promotion exercise.

In August of last year, the officers were granted an overnight injunction which stopped promotions within the Second Division from taking place. The officers who sought the injunction had been awaiting the Police Service’s promotion advisory board since 2016 for their ratings in qualifying examinations for the rank of sergeant.

Justice Margaret Mohammed on that occasion ordered the supply the scores for the officers and the basis for their promotions.

A subsequent order of Justice James Aboud in September, the commissioner was ordered to file affidavits, however, none were filed. The case was then taken over by Justice Charles who also ordered the commissioner to provide the information.

The officers had also sought the ratings of the latest batch of officers who have been promoted in order to compare the ratings.

Those challenging the promotion exercise are acting Sgt Audie Alexander Moona, Jerry London, Curt Douglas, Rene Katwaroo, Ramweshwar Gopaul, Daryl Theophilus, Jimmy Marcano, Dirk John, Anslem Knott and Terrence Salandy. In their lawsuit, they said they were called on to act in the position of sergeant due to a shortage of officers in that rank in the police service and in 2015 they were told that they would be considered by the board for promotion.

In April 2016, a merit list was released, but their names were not on it. Pursuant to Section 19 (5) of the Police Service Act they applied to the board to be given their ratings in the qualifying examination.

They say did not get an acknowledgement.

They were also told in July, that their request was forwarded to the Solicitor General’s department for consideration and in August their attorney sought the information under the Freedom of Information Act. In October, they were given their ratings, however, they were not given the ratings of the officers who were promoted in order to assess whether they were unfairly prejudiced.

The officers are represented by attorneys Jagdeo Singh, Dinesh Rambally, Kiel Taklalsingh and Stefan Ramkissoon.

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