HIGH court judge Justice Ricky Rahim has ruled in favour of a police prosecutor for promotion, having obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree. The Police Promotion Advisory Board (PPAB) has been ordered to immediately consider Constable Ramdath Phillip, of the Southern Division, for promotion as a result of the unfair decision to deny him the maximum 35 points, for police who possess s degree.
Rahim, in the San Fernando Supreme Court, delivered an oral ruling on Friday. Phillip was represented by Senior Counsel Anand Ramlogan, instructed by attorneys Jayanti Lutchmedial, Chelsea Stewart and Robert Abdool-Mitchell, from Freedom Law Chambers. Court documents listed the Commissioner of Police and Attorney General as named respondents/intended defendants.
In a media release by the chambers, it said Phillip who lives in Princes Town joined the service on February 3, 2003. In 2007, he completed his LLB degree at the University of London. As such, Phillip should have been exempted from writing any qualifying examination for promotion, within the Second Division, all the way up to the rank of Inspector.
This policy was promulgated by the Commissioner of Police in a Departmental Order in 2007, which advised that police officers who graduate with the LLB degree from an institution recognised by the Accreditation Council of TT would be exempted from having to write any further promotion examination and be awarded the maximum 35 points in the category of examination.
By letter dated May 19, 2014, Phillip was advised he would not be granted the exemption because he had not applied before the deadline of July 29, 2010.
Phillip objected and complained to the Commissioner that he was not aware of this deadline.
He said he was being treated unfairly owing to the completion of the degree and would have easily applied for the exemption before 2010 had he known there was a deadline.
“There were no promotion interviews for a very long time and hence there was no reason for Phillip to rush his exemption application which was in any event, a simple formality once he obtained his LLB degree from a recognised university,” the release said. “He was, therefore, being penalised for the late submission of an application after a deadline which was never disclosed to police officers.”
Over the years, Phillip had written several letters to complain about his unfair treatment and met with several senior persons in police administration without any resolution to his problem.
In addition to mandating the PPAB to immediately award Phillip the maximum 35 points and consider him for promotion, Rahim also found that Phillip was a victim of unfair treatment and ordered the State to pay his legal costs.
Attorneys Roshan Ramcharitar instructed by Laura Persad represented the State. Former Attorney General Ramlogan led the defence’s legal team.