AG and CoP in talks over DSS founder's lawsuit for FUL

DSS founder Kerron Clarke -
DSS founder Kerron Clarke -

DISCUSSIONS are taking place between the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Police on a legal challenge brought by Drugs Sou Sou (DSS) founder Kerron Clarke over the failure of the commission to grant him a firearm user’s licence (FUL).

On Monday, Clarke’s judicial review claim came up for hearing before Justice Nadia Kangaloo, who, in May 2022, granted him leave to pursue his claim against the commissioner.

At that hearing, one of the attorneys representing the commissioner, Sanjiv Lalla, sought a further extension of time to allow the AG and the CoP to hold discussions and indicate a position so he could definitely inform the court if the matter can be resolved.

Lalla admitted he was hoping to have a position but after preliminary discussions with the police’s legal unit, things reached a point where he had to engage the Attorney General directly.

He said up to Friday, he had no further instructions, as he asked for an additional two weeks.

“When I left you in January, I gave certain undertakings and was hoping to have a position in two weeks (by then),” Lalla told the judge.

“I am not in a position to definitely say if the matter will engage the courts further,” he said, adding that he was not privy to the discussions between the AG and the commissioner.

“I have tried to progress the matter as best as I can with the parties concerned.”

“...In so far as the AG and CoP were having discussions on Friday, I am not privy to those discussions and I ask for extension for those parties to have these discussions and I can come back and tell the court the position we are in.”

Although granting the extension, Kangaloo did tell Lalla he was “straining the court’s quality of mercy.”

“The court gave you two months when you had asked for two weeks.”

Clarke’s attorney, Rosario Sookdeo, said while he was prepared to give the commissioner a “little more time,” he was only instructed to agree to one month.

Kangaloo gave until April 27, for the commissioner to state its position on the lawsuit, warning that at that time “the court will be constrained to give orders to progress the matter,” if it had to.

Clarke sued the commissioner after the Firearms Appeal Board, in October 2021, ordered the commissioner to grant him a FUL.

He had applied for it in 2014, but in 2020, his application was refused. Clarke then appealed to the FAB, which ruled in his favour.

His lawsuit contends the office of the commissioner was reminded of the FAB’s ruling and the legal unit told Clarke and his attorneys of the police service’s audit of the operations of its firearms unit.

The legal unit asked for 30 days to respond to Clarke. That 30 days “has come and gone” and Clarke has not received his FUL, his lawsuit contended.


"AG and CoP in talks over DSS founder’s lawsuit for FUL"

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