Chief Magistrate says judge's decision perverted
December 3, 2006
Chief Magistrate Juliet Holder-Allen has described Justice William Ramlal's decision to throw out her case as a ‘perverted one.' His ruling clears the way to have the Judicial Service Commission enquire into complaints against her. The Chief Magistrate had moved to the courts to have the Judicial Service Commission's decision invalidated.
In a statement, Ms Holder-Allen stated that the Judge's decision is a travesty of justice.
On Monday, Justice William Ramlal dismissed Ms. Holder-Allen's application to have the JSC enquiries into the complaints quashed.
These complaints include an allegation against her by former Minister of Human Services, Bibi Shadick; a statement she reportedly made in a daily newspaper about the former Chancellor of the Judiciary, Ms. Desiree Bernard; and an allegation that she interfered in a decision by former Magistrate Bertlyn Reynolds.
She is also being accused of using offensive language in her court.
“My case against the Judicial Service Commission is one of basic human pride and dignity. It is about natural justice, that a person must not sit in judgment in his own cause. Two years ago, in November, 2004 the Constitutional Chairman of the JSC was Justice Desiree Bernard,” Holder-Allen said.
She pointed out that after Justice Bernard had stepped down and Chief Justice Carl Singh had taken up that position, the Commission subsequently filed a number of complaints with itself against her.
The JSC, Holder-Allen said, appointed Justice Claudette Singh as its delegate to hear its complaint against her, but reserved to itself the power to review the Judge's decision.
“Naturally, I filed a motion in the High Court to prevent these blatant breaches of the law from taking place. The trial judge, Justice Ramlal, in his ruling rejected each and every submission advanced by my lawyers in support of my contention that the Commission was, first of all, improperly constituted, had no legal quorum, and was embarking in unlawful and illegal action,” the Chief Magistrate said in her statement.
In rejecting her lawyer's legal arguments, the Chief Magistrate said, the judge was in fact ruling that the basic rules of natural justice and fairness do not apply to her.
“In his court papers filed on behalf of the State, the Attorney General, Doodnauth Singh, admitted that no complaint of alleged misconduct had in fact been filed against me by the two judicial officials…There were, therefore, no statements from these two persons that would have informed me of what ‘charges I was supposed to answer to at the hearing to be held by Justice Claudette Singh,” the statement said.
Following the allegations, Holder-Allen was sent on indefinite special leave with full pay from November 22, 2004.
On Monday Justice Ramlal also ruled that Holder-Allen should pay the sum of $50,000 as costs to Justice Carl Singh, Justice Claudette Singh, and Attorney General Doodnauth Singh, who were all respondents to her proceedings.