Court blocks Carvil Duncan tribunal from proceeding

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Embattled trade unionist, Carvil Duncan has succeeded in blocking the presidential tribunal, which was established to determine his removal from his constitutional posts.

Carvil Duncan
Carvil Duncan

The High Court ordered the suspension on the grounds that the tribunal was established based upon unconstitutional advice offered by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.

According to the court documents seen by INews, Justice Franklin Holder prohibited Justice Roxanne George (Chairperson); Retired Justice Winston Patterson and Robert Ramcharran from proceeding with the investigation and warned that failure to comply with the order would result in consequences.

“If you the within named – the Honourable Prime Minister, Mr Moses Nagamootoo, the Honourable Madam Justice George, Justice (retired) Winston Patterson and Robert Ramcharran, by your servants and/or agents, neglect to obey this order, you will be liable to process of execution for the purpose of compelling you to obey the same order,” the court documents outlined.

Justice Holder said too the Prime Minister’s advice ought to be investigated on the grounds that the said advice was tendered unconstitutionally, unlawfully, illegally, prematurely, prejudicially, contrary to the rules of natural justice, arbitrarily, capriciously and in breach of Duncan’s legitimate expectation and was, therefore, null, void and of no effect.

Duncan was charged and placed before the courts over an alleged theft of monies from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Limited.

He was placed on $1 million bail in February after he had appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, charged with larceny to which he pleaded not guilty. Police alleged that on March 31, 2015 at Georgetown, he stole $984,900, property of GPL.

It is alleged that he conspired with GPL’s then Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Aeshwar Deonarine to steal $984,900 and to commit a felony, namely, steal $27,757,500, property of the utility company.

In light of these events, Duncan claimed that President David Granger and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon offered him a “financial package” to vacate his posts as Chairman of the Public Services Commission (PSC) and effectively, as ex-officio member of the Judicial Service Commission and the Police Service Commission as well as the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Board.

Duncan rejected their offer and denied reports that Nagamootoo dispatched a letter to him asking him to justify why a tribunal ought not to be established to determine his fate.

Government claims that Duncan’s failure to respond to the letter which they insist was dispatched resulted in the decision by the President to set up the tribunal that was tasked with the responsibility of investigating and recommending whether Duncan should continue to serve in his capacity.

While the tribunal was ongoing, the President ordered Duncan’s suspension from all of his constitutional posts.

This move sparked public outrage and resulted in the parliamentary Opposition boycotting the President’s recent address to the Parliament on the grounds that democracy was being threatened.

Duncan’s Attorney, Anil Nandlall had argued that the tribunal was unconstitutional, since there was no lawful basis for its establishment.

 

 

 

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