Point Fortin man released from prison after judge intervenes

POINT Fortin restaurant worker Peter Bharat was released from prison late Saturday after a High Court judge issued an order earlier in the day to the Prisons Commissioner to do so.

Lawyers representing Bharat, who was charged with allegedly beating a 10-year-old girl, approached the High Court on Saturday seeking an order for his release.

At midday on Saturday, Justice Frank Seepersad granted the order for Bharat to be released from custody once he presented a certified cheque for $75,000 to the Registrar of the Supreme Court, the bail bonds and documents required under the Bail Act.

Newsday understands Bharat was released from prison at about 8.30 pm on Saturday night.

Attorneys Gerald Ramdeen, Dayadai Harripaul and Umesh Maharaj had complained of the decision of Registrar of the Point Fortin Magisterial District refusal to approve Bharat’s bail.

In an application for judicial review, the attorneys said Bharat provided valid security, as ordered by the magistrate who granted him $75,000 bail.

They said Bharat’s mother produced a certified draft cheque for $75,000 to the registrar who refused to accept it and asked for a source of funds document to be attached.

The application said the source of funds document was presented, but the registrar then asked for a deed in excess of $75,000. Bharat’s attorneys argued that the decision of the registrar was contrary to law and not in accordance with provisions of section 4 of the Bail Act and sections of the Criminal Division and District Criminal and Traffic Courts Act.

They also said the decision to deny bail, although Bharat satisfied the bail conditions, amounted to a flagrant abuse of power.

According to the application, the Bail (Access to Bail) (Amendment) Act provided for various means by which bail could be secured, including the presentation of certified cheque in the sum of the quantum of bail granted.

On Friday, Bharat, 23, pleaded not-guilty when he appeared before Point Fortin senior Magistrate Alicia Chankar. He was granted $75,000 bail and ordered that he have no contact directly, indirectly or through a third-party with the child.

He also has to report twice a week to the Point Fortin police station. The charge against Bharat stemmed from an incident last Wednesday in Point Fortin involving a schoolgirl from Fanny Village Government Primary.

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