Judge declines to hear vendors until normality returns to city

Stabroek News
October 26, 2000

Justice Carl Singh yesterday declined to hear an application for a stay of the execution of his order which barred selling on the Regent Street pavement until normality returned to the city.

Four constables were injured--one seriously--and vendors claimed that some of their colleagues were also injured in a bloody confrontation on Tuesday.

Justice Singh had on September 29, discharged an injunction which the vendors had obtained five years ago. The injunction had prevented the Mayor and City Council from removing the vendors from the Regent Street pavement. Vendors, through their lawyer Nigel Hughes, filed an application to stay the execution of Justice's Singh order and the matter was called for hearing yesterday.

However, the judge declined to hear the matter based on arguments by attorney-at-law Vidyanand Persaud. Persaud argued that the same vendors who were seeking the application had been flouting the ruling of Justice Singh which prevented them from selling on the pavement. He said that the vendors had taken the matter into their own hands. The lawyer argued that members of the City Constabulary had been the targets and victims of the vendors.

Hughes argued that there was no evidence to prove that his clients were involved in breaching the order. He argued that these acts were committed by persons who had taken up the cause of the vendors.

Justice Singh referred to several newspaper articles and photographs which supported his argument that the vendors had been flouting his ruling. One such photograph, which appeared in the Stabroek News revealed wooden palettes placed across the drain on Regent Street.

Acting Chief Constable of the M&CC, Jagdeo Singh, was sent for after the judge was told his recommendation for itinerant vending was not being complied with by the M&CC police. The acting chief constable was advised by the judge that the vendors should be allowed to conduct itinerant vending providing that they did not breach any of the city's by-laws.

It was a sad bunch of vendors who left the court shortly after; tears were streaming down the faces of some of the women.

The matter comes up for hearing again on Monday.

And City Hall in a press release issued yesterday said Justice Singh had made reference to all the incidents on Regent Street including the placing of palettes across the drain and attacks on ranks of the City Constabulary.

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