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Royston King challenges High Court jurisdiction to move ahead with parking meter challenge

Last Updated on Monday, 27 February 2017, 11:46 by Derwayne Wills

Georgetown Town Clerk Royston King has made an application questioning the jurisdiction of the High Court, under the new Civil Procedures rules, to deal with the parking meter legal challenge.

King’s lawyer, Roger Yearwood, told the court today that the application, under Rule 9:01 of the 2016 Civil Procedure Rules, was filed on February 22. That application was served on Kamal Ramkarran on February 24. Ramkarran is the attorney for the plaintiff, Mahendra Arjune, in this matter.

Yearwood represents the Town Clerk in the matter or Mahendra Arjune v the Mayor and Town Clerk of Georgetown.

Arjune’s challenge is one of two legal challenges against the parking meter regime. Yearwood also represents the Town Clerk in the matter of New Building Society (NBS) v the Communities Minister and Georgetown Town Clerk. Both matters are being heard by Justice Brassington Reynolds.

Attorney Kamal Ramkarran told the court today that since the order nisi had been made, this should have acted as a stay of execution against further implementation of the project. However, the Georgetown Mayor two weeks ago announced a resuming of the project despite two pending court matters.

Ramkarran told the Court that vehicles were being clamped, up to this morning, in front of his Avenue of the Republic office. He said attempts were made by himself and Court Marshals to serve both the Mayor and Town Clerk, but both parties were evasive.

Justice Brassington Reynolds asked whether, considering the public interest in the matter, both sides would not be willing to have a settlement conference so that some legal undertaking could be made on the way forward.

Reynolds plugged this as a reasonable position since it would ultimately reduce any harm emerging from the contentious parking meter project before his court.

Justice Reynolds asked for both sides to make case submissions to support their positions in whether the court has jurisdiction to proceed with the parking meter challenge. Both sides return to the Court tomorrow to proceed with the jurisdiction application.

Attorney Stephen Fraser, who represents Smart City Solutions, told the Court that according to research conducted by his team, retired Acting Chancellor Carl Singh, when he was a High Court Judge in the 1990s, noted that an order nisi acted as a stay of proceedings and not a stay of execution. He said when the order nisi was granted, it was in respect of proceedings of an inferior court.

Fraser believed both City Council and SCS, which he represents, have been treated unfavorably and have been unfairly tainted. He maintained that if SCS or City Council were, in fact, in contempt of Court, he would have notified them and urge they comply.

Yearwood raised concerns with the Court that the Mayor, according to the Municipal and District Councils Act, should not be a party in the proceedings, since it is the Town Clerk, who must answer in these matters.

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February 2017