CHAGUANAS West UNC MP Dinesh Rambally is warning a teacher in the constituency to stop maligning his name and character, or he will take him to court.
Rambally told Wesley Pancham he will be willing to settle the claim for $150,000, which he will donate to various charitable organisations and people in need. He also wants a public apology by 4 pm on January 29.
Rambally is represented by attorneys Jagdeo Singh, Kiel Taklalsingh, Stefan Ramkissoon and Rhea Khan, and has said he will possibly report Pancham to the Teaching Service Commission.
A pre-action protocol letter sent to Pancham on Friday says he is a teacher at a school in central Trinidad and also the chairman of the Chaguanas West constituency executive, which is considered an arm of the United National Congress.
The letter said as chairman, Pancham is “duty-bound to carry out certain functions which ought to support the MP in delivery of best services to constituents.”
However, the letter alleged that between September 19 and24, and leading up to the UNC’s internal elections in December, Pancham went to several constituents telling them that Rambally would be putting up a slate against the political leader and they needed to register to be able to vote against these people.
Pancham is also alleged to have said Rambally was stronger and more dangerous than previous UNC MPs.
“The said statements were false, a personal and unwarranted attack on the claimant and not made in good faith in the realm of political topics so as to attract protection from exposure of liability for defamation,” the letter said, telling Pancham he knew the statements he made were untrue.
The letter said the false statements were made with the intent to injure, disgrace and defame Rambally, bring him into public disrepute and discredit and cause the public to hold him in contempt and ridicule.
Rambally confronted Pancham in a telephone call on September 24, the letter said,and the latter admitted he did approach constituents telling them untruths.
During the phone conversation, by Rambally's account, Pancham was warned to stop making the false statements as they threatened to cause divisiveness within the constituency and the party, but he refused to heed the warning and allegedly continued making false statements.
It added that because of this, Rambally has endured mistrust and suspicion from colleagues.