13-year-old's posting to NOC--
Reeaz Khan moves to reverse order of the Court
By George Barclay
June 26, 2004
THERE was a new development in the drama of the 13-year-old schoolgirl and businessman Reeaz Khan, who, acting as the next friend of the girl Natalia, filed a motion on her behalf seeking to knock down the order by Justice B.S. Roy. Justice Roy has ordered the teenager to be an inmate of the New Opportunity Corps (NOC), a correctional facility at Onderneeming, on the Essequibo Coast.
Khan, who is pursuing similar declarations from the Court to those sought by Attorney General Doodnauth Singh, Senior Counsel, some days ago, has named the Attorney General as respondent in the matter.
Mr. Doodnauth Singh appeared in person and said that he would not be contesting the matter and would be prepared to abide by any order the Court might make.
Khan is represented by Senior Counsel Mr. Rex McKay and attorney-at-law Mr. Hukumchand.
Mr. Hukumchand appeared in Court yesterday before Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards. Mr. McKay, who did not appear, is reported on the Court record to have said, "I Rex H. McKay, S.C. of Lot 1 Croal Street, Georgetown, hereby certify that I believe that Bibi Natalia Hamid is an infant and that the above named Reeaz Khan has no interest in the cause or matter in question adverse to that of the infant."
The hearing is fixed for July 2, 2004.
In another Court yesterday, Justice Roy was expected to deliver a report in relation to the girl, Natalia, but he stated that he had received a report from the social authorities, and that he would forward a report within the next two weeks.
The girl Natalia is still at the New Opportunity Corps, where she has been sent for protection.
Also in Court yesterday before Justice Cummings-Edwards, who is hearing the motion that is seeking to knock down Justice Roy's order in relation to the girl, was the girl's mother and a team of lawyers headed by Mr. Nigel Hughes.
The mother, Bibi Shameeza Hamid, is asking to be made a party to the proceedings, and that Reeaz Khan be removed as next friend of the child Bibi Natalia Hamid and that she, the mother, be appointed next friend of Bibi Natalia Hamid instead.
Among other things, Reeaz Khan is seeking to have the Court declared: -
(1) A declaration that the authority vested in a judge of the High Court as the upper guardian of a child under section 21of the Infancy Act, Chapter 46:01, must be exercised subject to the fundamental rights of the applicant entrenched in Articles 139, 141, 147 and 148 of the Constitution which is the Supreme Law.
(2) A declaration that the order made by the Honourable Justice B.S. Roy on the 11th Day of June, 2004, directing that the child Bibi Natalia Hamid the applicant herein be kept at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) Essequibo was made without her consent, or without her being given an opportunity to be heard or to be represented by an attorney-at-law, contravenes the applicant's fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 139, 141, 146, 147 and 148 of the Constitution, is unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal effect.
The applicant is also saying through her next friend that she is entitled to redress from the State for the contravention of her constitutional rights by the judicial arm of the State as well as compensatory damages in excess of $50,000 for contravention of the applicant's fundamental rights.