13-year-old's posting to NOC-
'Mother not proper person to intervene'
--Lawyer tells judge
Guyana Chronicle
July 17, 2004

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ATTORNEY-at-law Mr. Hukumchand yesterday submitted to Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards that Ms Bibi Shameeza Hamid, mother of Natalia Hamid 13, who has been sent to the New Opportunity Corps, was not a fit and proper person to grant intervention in a case in which the girl's next friend is challenging the Court's order.

Pursuant to the hearing and determination of a habeas corpus, alleged abduction and contempt of Court matter, Justice B.S. Roy had ordered the 13-year-old schoolgirl to be an inmate of the New Opportunity Corps (NOC), which is a correctional facility at Onderneeming, on the Essequibo Coast.

He had sent her there for protection.

Since then, businessman Reeaz Khan, who was accused of abducting the girl and has since applied to marry her, has filed a motion seeking to knock down the order of Judge Roy as being unlawful, null and void.

But before the matter could be heard by Justice Cummings-Edwards, the mother of the girl Bibi Shameeza Hamid, sought to intervene in the matter.

At the hearing of the intervention summons yesterday, Mr. Hukumchand, appearing for Reeaz Khan, objected to the intervention by the mother on the grounds that there is a bad relationship between mother and daughter and that the mother was the person who agreed that her daughter should be sent to NOC although she had not been convicted for any offence.

According to Hukumchand, the mother was hoping to intervene in the matter so that she would be in a position to uphold the judge's order.

Among other things the applicant Khan is seeking:-

(1) A declaration that the authority vested in a judge of the High Court as the upper guardian of a child under section 21 of 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 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..

When the hearing resumes next Friday, Mr. Hukumchand will complele his arguments. (George Barclay)