Appeal Court defers decision in High Court sackings
Stabroek News
December 14, 2003

Related Links: Articles on judiciary
Letters Menu Archival Menu

he decision of the Court of Appeal in the matter involving the eight Supreme Court employees who were dismissed early last year by Registrar Sita Ramlal has been deferred.

Stabroek News understands the adjournment came after Attorney General Doodnauth Singh (for the registrar) and the applicants' lawyer Benjamin Gibson, objected to the court's request for further evidence.

According to the arguments put to the bench, where Chancellor Desiree Bernard, Chief Justice Carl Singh and Justice Nandram Kissoon were presiding, since the High Court only has original jurisdiction then the Appeal Court cannot entertain additional evidence but has to give a decision based on the facts at its disposal.

In March 2002, Chief Marshal William Pyle and seven other Supreme Court employees were issued with termination letters by Ramlal and had subsequently applied for nisi orders of certiorari, mandamus and prohibition in a bid to revoke the dismissals.

Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, on August 20, 2002, had deemed Ramlal's dismissal of the employees invalid, unconstitutional and in breach of the natural principles of justice. Thereafter, the court had rejected two applications by Ramlal for stay of execution and the applicants had returned to work.

Justice Cummings-Edwards had further ordered the immediate reinstatement of the applicants and payment of their respective salaries and allowances from April 1, 2002 with 6 per cent interest.

But Ramlal had failed to comply with the judge's order and Gibson had proceeded to file a con- tempt motion against the registrar, AG Singh and Minister of Finance, Saisnarine Kowlessar.

On December 19, 2002, Justice Dawn Gregory-Barnes dismissed the action against AG Singh and Kowlessar and ordered that Ramlal carry out the High Court order previously handed down by Justice Cummings-Edwards.

However, none of the employees have been paid to date or `officially' reinstated in their former positions and this situation has resulted in Gibson taking their petition to the Court of Appeal.

The date for the Court of Appeal decision has not yet been fixed.