No construction at TPL site until case ends
Guyana Chronicle
May 22, 2002

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TOOLSIE Persaud Limited (TPL), objecting to the acquisition of its Water Street property by Government for the erection of a vendors mall, yesterday withdrew the application for an order to stop the project.

Senior Counsel Edward Luckhoo, also appearing for TPL, made the withdrawal before Justice B.S. Roy after Senior Counsel, Attorney General Doodnauth Singh, for the State, gave the undertaking that, apart from clearing of the land, no construction will take place until the case is fully heard and determined.

It means the judge, who began hearing of a constitutional motion by TPL Monday, is no longer being asked for a conservatory order to prevent the Government constructing any building on the site.
However, the matter will continue on June 5.

The company, opposing takeover of the place for a public purpose, complained, on Monday, that the State had embarked upon the unlawful course of entering there with a view to carrying out construction works.

TPL claims its fundamental rights have been or are likely to be contravened by the State.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of TPL, Toolsie Persaud, in further evidence, charged that his firm was discriminated against because, during the 1992 elections campaign, he supported CREEP (Committee for the Re-election of the President).

Persaud said the expression “discriminatory” in Article 149 means affording different treatment to different persons, attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinion, colour or creed, whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to persons of another such description.

Cross-examined by Singh, Persaud admitted he was a member of the Committee for the Re-Election of President Desmond Hoyte.

“I felt that, as a result of that, I was discriminated against,” the witness said.

He agreed with Singh that the very Government he said discriminated against him had recently awarded his company a $242M contract to lay pipelines at Eccles and Friendship, East Bank Demerara and another worth $139M, two months ago, for a similar project at Bartica.

Re-examined by Luckhoo, Persaud said those awards were by the Central Tender Board through a tendering process.

Singh then asked Persaud:“You know that, even though the Tender Board recommends a contract, it has to be approved by Cabinet?”