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Public Service Commission Chairman’s submission over-ruled; to challenge Tribunal in High Court

Attorney-at-Law, Anil Nandlall

Attorney-at-Law, Anil Nandlall

Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Carville Duncan plans to challenge the legality of a Tribunal hearing to determine whether he should be removed from that constitutional post, his lawyer Anil Nandlall said Monday.

Nandlall told Demerara Waves Online News that the Tribunal over-ruled his submissions and he would be moving to the High Court later this week. He said immediately after the decision, he informed the body that he and Duncan would not be participating in the proceedings any longer and they left.

The Tribunal Hearing continues in their absence behind closed doors away from the glare of the public and the media at the Training Division of the Ministry of the Presidency.

Nandlall said he would be moving to the High Court on three grounds.

They are that there are criminal proceedings underway in the Magistrates’ Court,  Duncan never received a letter from Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in March 2016 calling on him to show cause why the tribunal should not be established, and that the PSC Chairman has been called before Tribunal whose Chairman is sitting High Court Judge. Nandlall explained that, as a member of the Judicial Service Commission, Duncan is appearing before someone over whom he exercises supervisory authority.

They are the fact that Duncan deserves a right to a fear hearing into the alleged larceny of $984,000 from Guyana Power and Light and conspiring with another to steal over $27 million from the said entity. “Mr. Duncan, under Article 144 of the Constitution is entitled to a presumption of innocence. That means that his innocent of the charges until he is proven guilty,” said Nandlall.

The former Attorney General further argued that the establishment of a Tribunal to remove him from office on the mere institution of a charge and before the determination of guilty infraction of constitutional protection.”

Nandlall contended that because Duncan never received the letter at the outset to trigger the process, “that makes the Tribunal infected from its very beginning and a nullity.”

The Attorney-at-Law noted that Tribunal Chairman, High Court Judge, Roxanne George is subjected to supervisory jurisdiction by Duncan who is a JSC member. “It is improper for a member of the Judicial Service Commission to be judged essentially by a judge over whom Mr. Duncan exercises a jurisdiction,” he said.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said the Tribunal was set up to inquire, investigate and recommend whether Duncan ought to be removed from office for inability to perform the functions of the said office, after he refused to gracefully vacate the office.