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High Court throws out trio from managing Public Service Coop Credit Union

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 July 2023, 22:13 by Denis Chabrol

Attorney-at-Law Roysdale Forde (right) and Attorney-at-Law Christopher
Thompson (left) with GPSCCU members outside the courtroom. 

The High Court on Tuesday ordered that three members of the Guyana Public Service Cooperative Credit Union (GPSCCU) cease to be members of the Committee of Management and that they be replaced by three others who had previously won a case.

Attorney-at-Law Roysdale Forde said Justice Navindra Singh ruled that Ms Karen Van Sluytman-Corbin, Ms Gillian Pollard Ms Ruth Howard “be directed not to conduct any business on behalf of the GPSCCU.

Instead, the judge reportedly said Mr Trevor L. Benn, Mr Patrick Mentore and Ms Rajdai Jagarnauth ” perform the functions of the offices held by Van Sluytman-Corbin, Pollard and Howard “until the hearing and determination of the Fixed Date Application.” The lawyer explained that Mr Mentore, the GPSCCU Vice Chairman, would be acting as Chairman.

Mr Forde said the respondents were directed by the Court to pay outstanding costs in the sum of GY$1 million to the applicants by  September 13, 2023. The court had in September, 2022 ruled that those costs should have been paid by October 24, 2022.

The Court adjourned the further hearing of the Application to the September 13, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

“These Orders granted by the Court will ensure that Justice prevail in this matter. The Orders also underscore the importance of compliance with Orders of Court,” Mr Forde said in a statement.

Tuesday’s decision stemmed from the High Court’s decisi0n in September, 2022 that a special members meeting should have been held by October 24, 2022 in keeping with Regulation 16 of The Cooperative Society Act.

However, when that meeting had been called on October 24, 2022, it was dissolved due to a lack of quorum- 5,758 of the 23,033 members.  Mr Benn and several of his supporters had called for a boycott and did not show up for that meeting at New Central High School, Princes Street, Georgetown.

The previous High Court order had stated that GPSCCU members in the 10 administrative regions should be allowed to participate virtually in keeping with the same methods and operational standards through the use of a particular Information Technology (IT) provider in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in keeping with the same standards that had led to the appointment of the Committee of Management. “They failed to put that mechanism in place and, in fact, applied to the court for a variation of the order, pointing out to the court, according to them, that they are unable to give effect to the order, then the next day they withdrew their application for a variation and proceeded to act in a manner inconsistent and in breach of the order and they have done nothing since that time to act in accordance with the Court order,” he said.

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July 2023