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Government had nothing to do with torture cops’ promotions

The Public Service Commission and the Commissioner of Police have promoted Sergeant Lall regulation number 14526 and Constable Dulai regulation number 19028 to the rank of Inspector and Corporal, respectively.  The promotion of these two ranks has resulted in much public commentary.

Background

Sergeant Lall and Constable Dulaiwere the subject of an investigation that resulted in criminal charges being instituted by the Director of Public Prosecutions against these two policemen. Also, a Constitutional Motion was subsequently filed by Twyon Thomas against the Attorney General of Guyana in respect thereof. Twyon Thomas was arrested on the 27th October, 2009, in relation to an investigation of an alleged murder of one RamenauthBisram which had occurred sometime on or around the 26th October, 2009. Twyon Thomas alleged that he was taken to Leonora Police Station and he was allegedly tortured by Constable Dulai and Sergeant Lall.

Sergeant Lall and Constable Dulai were charged by the Director of Public Prosecutions and during the pendency of the trial before the Magistrate’s Court, both Sergeant Lall and Constable Dulai were interdicted from duty. These charges were subsequently dismissed for want of prosecution. In the result the interdictions were removed. 

The legal proceedings filed against the Attorney General, culminated in an award of damages which was duly paid by the State.

No role by the Executive

The Executive plays no part in the recruitment, promotion, appointment or discipline of members of the Guyana Police Force, other than the Commissioner of Policeand Deputy Commissioner. Indeed, these are matters from which the Executive is specifically insulated by provisions of the Constitution and the Police Act. 

Article 212 (1) of the Constitution vests in the Police Service Commission the power to make appointments to any offices in the Police Force of or above the rank of Inspector, the power to exercise disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices and the power to remove such persons from office. Article 212 (2) resides similar powers in the Commissioner of Police in respect of officers in the Police Force below the rank of Inspector. 

The Police Service Commission consists of five members, namely, the Chairman of the Public Service Commission and four other persons, nominated by the National Assembly (Article 210 of the constitution).

In the discharge of its functions, the Commission enjoys constitutionally enshrined independence and autonomy which is captured in the imperative language of Article 226 (1) “…in the exercise of its functions under this constitution, a Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.”

Decision making process, not the decision

The notion, therefore, being peddled in some sections of the media that the Government participated, authorized or concurred with these promotions are simply without any foundation. The view of the Government expressed through Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, related to the procedure in respect of the promotions and was not a comment in respect of the merits or demerits of the promotions. In short, It was confined to the decision making process and not the decision.