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Attorney General wants Police Service Commission case thrown out

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 September 2021, 17:10 by Denis Chabrol

Attorney General Anil Nandlall on Thursday signaled that government would be asking the High Court to throw out the case in which the the Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie has refused to issue a special order for the promotion of 139 officers who have been named by the Police Service Commission (PSC).

Mr. Nandlall told the court, presided over Justice Gino Persaud, that he  has filed a Notice of Application to strike out the Fixed Date Application “on the ground that the applicant or the purported applicant , that is to say the Police Service Commission, is not lawfully constituted and in fact and indeed is vacant and does not enjoy the authority to continue the proceedings.”

The life of the PSC, under the Chairmanship of Retired Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Slowe, expired last month-end.

If the Attorney General succeeds, it is unclear what that may mean for the 139 officers who had been listed by the PSC as promoted. They included several whom, according to well-placed sources, are not favoured by the People’s Progressive Party-led administration while the administration had been hoping to get a number of its favoured persons on the promotion list.

However, Mr. Slowe is on record as saying that a number of those persons had had pending disciplinary matters and could not have been considered.

The PSC is also contending that it enjoys the constitutional right to issue the promotions, arguing that President Irfaan Ali could not have suspended that body without first establishing a tribunal.  With no Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in place, that Tribunal cannot be named.

President Ali is now required to consult with the Opposition Leader for the appointment of a new PSC.

After the list had been issued, the Police Commissioner had declined to issue the Special Promotions Order and arrange for the Quartermaster to issue them their badges of rank. Government had swiftly declared that the PSC’s action had been illegal.

The names of those listed have not been published in the Official Gazette.

Justice Persaud on Thursday ordered that President Irfaan Ali be struck out from the Fixed Date Application because he is immune from court action.  He also ordered that the PSC pays the State $200,000 in costs.