A HIGH Court judge has ordered that two deeds for a seven-acre plot of land in Rio Claro be removed from the registry and a claim to the land should be sent to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Justice Devendra Rampersad, presiding in the San Fernando High Court, made the order on Wednesday in the land dispute, in which the principal owner was declared mentally unfit, but his thumbprint was used to have the lands transferred to relatives. At the hearing, the judge expressed surprise that the deeds in question, prepared in an attorney’s office, raised suspicion, and asked attorney Odai Ramischand, “Who is this lawyer?”
Ramischand had filed a lawsuit on behalf of Sudhakaran Rajkishan and his brother Goberdhan Ramlakhan, who were appointed by their deceased parents as receiver of the lands on behalf of their mentally ill son, Ramdeo Singh.
The action was filed against Shivan Ramlakhan, Deyal Ramlakhan, Rakesh Abraham and Trisha Ramlakhan, for possession of the lands. The lands are on Bucket Corner and Ramischand pleaded that the parents’ desire was to convey the lands to the sons, on condition they build a house and equip it with all amenities for the mentally ill Singh. That was done and Singh remained the sole owner, with the brothers as beneficiaries when he dies. However, Singh was subjected to physical and mental abuse and Ramischand contended in the lawsuit that charges had been laid under the Domestic Violence Act in the Rio Claro court. The attorney eventually filed a case in the High Court to declare Singh mentally unfit under the Mental Health Act.
Ramischand, in searching the title of the lands, discovered two deeds which were prepared in an attorney’s office and which bore Singh’s thumbprint. The deeds purported to transfer the lands that Singh’s parents had left him to other members of the family.
Rampersad ordered that the two deeds should be set aside on the ground that Singh did not have the mental capacity to execute them, and that the Registrar General be directed to remove them from the Protocols of Deeds.
Rampersad then ordered that the registrar of the High Court should send the proceedings of the defence to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine whether any further action should be taken against the parties to the deeds.