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Sunday 24 March 2019
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Junior Sammy, farmer lose claim to land

JUNIOR Sammy Contractors Ltd, its executive director Shaun Sammy and a farmer have all lost their claim to three acres of land worth millions of dollars.

In a recent 120-page ruling by Justice Ricky Rahim, the judge declared that neither farmer Robert Gormandy, Shawn Sammy or Junior Sammy Contractors Ltd, had the rights to, title to or interest in the three acres of land in Couva.

The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) had taken the three to court as it attempted to reclaim the lands, which was vested in the HDC by order in 2006.

The HDC had written Sammy requesting that works be ceased on the land but Sammy had contended that he had secured the property legally through Gormandy who was on the land since 1984. Gormandy maintained he had adverse possession (a method of gaining legal title to property by the actual, open, hostile, and continuous possession) of the land.

The HDC filed an application for an order that the contractors and Gormandy be evicted from the land. Two applications were made by the company for an injunction restraining the HDC from coming into the land. These were dismissed by Rahim.

Rahim also voided the 2014 sale transaction between Gormandy and Sammy for the land, and he restrained them from trespassing on the property.

The judge’s ruling has been appealed and a stay or his orders is being sought by the parties. The hearing for the stay has been adjourned to January, while a date is yet to be set for the hearing of the appeal.

In his decision Rahim said since Gormandy had no right, title or interest in the subject land, he was not entitled to sell the subject land to Sammy.

“The agreement for sale dated March 14, 2014 executed between Gormandy and Sammy is therefore void and of no effect. Further, and in any event the court finds that the agreement for sale was highly suspicious and has caused much unease. Not only did Gormandy and Sammy give differing versions of the negotiations leading up to the agreement for the price of the land, the price which was accepted by Gormandy was incredibly low,” Rahim said in his ruling.

Gormandy testified that Sammy initially offered $600,000 for the land but then decreased the offer to $500,000.00. When the offer was decreased, Gormandy agreed to the $500,000 but asked to retain two lots.

Gormandy, Sammy and his company were represented by attorneys Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj,SC, Ronnie Bissessar, Alvin Ramroop and Vijaya Maharaj while Deborah Peake,SC, Ravi Heffes-Doon and Andre Rudder appeared for the HDC.

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