Toolsie Persaud Ltd appeals judge’s $260M compensation ruling
July 30, 2003
FOLLOWING Justice B.S. Roy’s ruling last week in the land acquisition case wherein the Government was ordered to pay $260M compensation for the Water Street site, Toolsie Persaud Limited, the owner of the land, has appealed the ruling. This action is causing concern among the 500 vendors, some of whom have already begun building stalls on the said site.
Confusion reigned on Monday over the allocation of lots as the City Council moved to accommodate the vendors, who were instructed by the Court to remove their stalls and pallets after 18:00hrs each day.
Earlier, the Government had offered to pay no more than $100M for the site, but Toolsie Persaud Limited (TPL) was asking for $457M.
It will be remembered that in November 2002, Justice Dawn Gregory-Barnes had made absolute an order directing Mayor Hamilton Green and prohibiting him from granting permission or licences to street vendors or allocating stalls to them for vending or carrying on any commercial activities on the applicants’ land at sub-lots lettered ‘A’ being part of the Mud Lots numbered 49, 50, 51, 52 Water Street, situate in the Robstown District, on the ground that the said licences or permits would be unlawful, unconstitutional, arbitrary, capricious, irrational, ultra vires, null, void and of no legal effect.
In the Appeal, which was filed in the Supreme Court Registry on Monday, Mr. Rex Mc Kay, Senior Counsel, represented the Appellant TPL, while the Attorney General of Guyana appeared for the Respondent.
According to the Appellant, the decision of the trial judge was perverse when he overruled submissions of Counsel that the following words in Section 7 (1) of the Acquisition of land for Public Purposes Act, Chapter 52:05 (The Act) “ the land shall vest in the State, subject to the payment of the purchase money or any compensation as hereafter provided” must be read disjunctively with the result, he said, that the land vests in the State before the assessment or payment of “any compensation” by the State to the landowner.
The relief sought from the Court of Appeal is the setting aside of the whole of the judge’s decision. (George Barclay)