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Police officer Dookie challenges constitutionality of “public interest” special leave

Deputy Superintendent of of Police, Motie Dookie

The Guyana Police Force Deputy Superintendent, Motie Dookie, who was sent on special leave in the public interest months after he had been accused of smuggling several bottles of whiskey, has challenged the constitutionality of the decision for him to stay off the job.

The matter has been fixed for July 14, 2018  before Justice Fidela Corbin-Lincoln

He wants the High Court to quash the decision to send him on special leave on “the grounds that the said decision is unconstitutional, capricious, whimsical, irrational, based upon irrelevant and extraneous considerations, contrary to the rules of natural justice, unreasonable unlawful, null, void and of no effect”.

In court papers seen by Demerara Waves Online News, Dookie is challenging the decision by acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine to send him on leave on May 21, 2018. Through his Attorney-at-Law, Anil Nandlall, the police officer said it is only the Police Service Commission has the power to appoint anyone in the force above the rank of Inspector, discipline persons holding or acting in such offices and the powers to remove them.

Also named as a respondent in the matter is Attorney General, Basil Williams.

Dookie, who was Head of Force Control Operations, also contends that he was not given a hearing before he was removed from active duty. “Prior to receipt of this letter, I was not offered an opportunity to provide any explanation, or reason or show cause why I should not be sent on “Special leave in the Public Interest”, or at all,” he says.

The Police Service Commission was not constituted at the time he was sent on leave.

The decision was made with the blessings of then acting Public Security Minister, Winston Felix, while Ramjattan had been overseas. On his return, Ramjattan objected to Felix’s decision, but said it was legal and he would not overturn it.

Dookie has been engaged in a saga ever since he had been allegedly caught with 30 bottles of whiskey in a vehicle for which no customs duties had been paid. The vehicle driver has since taken responsibility for the liquor.

However, questions have since been raised about whether Dookie, then the Head of the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit (SWAT), had been permitted to leave his base to go to Berbice. Sources said he could be penalised departmentally for such a breach.