ATTORNEYS for former police commissioner Gary Griffith will have to provide a “courtesy copy” of his judicial review application challenging the Police Service Commission’s (PSC) short-lived suspension of his acting appointment to social activist Ravi Balgobin-Maharaj.
Otherwise they will have to take their refusal to do so to the Appeal Court.
Balgobin-Maharaj has filed an interpretation summons questioning the legality of Griffith’s acting appointment after his three-year contract ended on August 17.
Griffith was reappointed acting commission by way of Legal Notice 183, drafted by the Attorney General to widen the pool from which an acting commissioner could be appointed to include contract officers whose contracts had come to an end.
The PSC then suspended him on September 17, on the basis of an investigation it initiated on September 1, headed by retired Justice of Appeal Stanley John, into allegations of corruption in the issuance of firearm user's licences and the police handling of an incident at sea involving Christian Chandler, the head of the police legal unit.
On Friday, Balgobin-Maharaj’s attorneys complained to Justice Nadia Kangaloo that her order to provide them with a courtesy copy of Griffith’s challenge against the PSC had not been complied with.
Griffith’s attorneys did not initially object to the judge’s order, but later did so in an e-mail sent only to her.
Kangaloo was asked to rule on the matter after an exchange of submissions, also by e-mail, over the weekend.
In a ruling on Sunday night, Kangaloo said all parties in the two matters agreed they were related and were to be heard by one judge.
“It must indubitably be the consensus of all parties to both matters that these are claims which require a measured yet expedient approach.”
She pointed out there had been no objection to the request by Balgobin-Maharaj’s lead attorney, Anand Ramlogan, SC, for the courtesy copy of the judicial review application.
Kangaloo ruled that “in the face of a hotly contested issue” between the parties affected by her order to provide the copy, the formal approach must be taken by any party wanting to contest the validity of the order.
“Accordingly, the court’s order remains in place and while silent as to the time when the same was to be complied with, may be deemed to have required compliance forthwith.
“Mr Griffith’s attorneys are free to make such formal challenge to the order as they see fit and to seek directions in furtherance of this end,” the judge ruled.
She declined to entertain any reconsideration of the order “in the manner in which the court has been approached by Mr Griffith’s attorneys to ventilate this issue.”
This means Griffith’s attorneys will have to file a procedural appeal objecting to the judge’s order to provide Balgobin-Maharaj with a copy of the application.
She also said she expected all parties to comply strictly with the deadlines she previously set for filing submissions. She will entertain oral submissions on October 11 and give her ruling on October 14, the day before current acting commissioner McDonald Jacob’s appointment ends.