Judge stops development of Water Street vending site

Guyana Chronicle
November 11, 2002

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JUSTICE Dawn Gregory-Barnes on Friday granted an interim injunction, preventing land owned by Toolsie Persaud Limited in Water Street, Georgetown, from being developed for street vending.

The judge acted on an application for orders of certiorari and prohibition directed to Transport and Hydraulics Minister Anthony Xavier and City Mayor Hamilton Green.

Justice Gregory-Barnes also prohibited Xavier from distributing or allocating vending spots and from authorising Green to grant licences or permission for sellers to vend or carry on commercial activities on sub-lots lettered 'A', being part of mud lots 49, 50, 51 and 52 Water Street, in Robbstown District, on the ground that it would be unlawful.

The matter is expected to engage further attention in Bail Court today.

Toolsie Persaud still has pending before the Court a constitutional motion against the compulsory acquisition of the same property without adequate compensation.

He is alleging that the purported decision to hand over the place for selling is unlawful, unconstitutional, arbitrary, capricious, irrational, ultra vires, null, void and of no legal effect.

In his supporting affidavit to that motion, Persaud said, on October 9, 2001, his company filed an action, claiming, among other reliefs, a declaration that the purported acquisition of the land by the State was not an acquisition for a public purpose within the meaning of the Acquisition of Land for Public Purposes Act and is unconstitutional, null and void and contravenes the owner's fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

Persaud said, on May 20, 2002, he was present in Court when his lawyer, Senior Counsel Rex McKay applied to another judge for a directive to stop Xavier from carrying out any building or construction works at the same place.

Persaud said, in his presence and hearing, the Attorney General, other Senior Counsel Doodnauth Singh gave an undertaking in open Court that no construction or building works will be carried out at the location until the motion is heard and determined and that, meantime, only levelling of the site would be done.

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