– after she challenged the State’s repossession of her ‘core’ home at Parfaite Harmonie
Chief Justice (ag) Madame Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards has ruled in favour of a single-mother who challenged the State’s repossession of her home at Lot 902 Plantation Westminster, Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara.
Gaytrie Singh, a mother of four, had moved to the High Court by way of a motion, asking for, among other things, a conservatory order prohibiting servants and/or agents of the Central Housing & Planning Authority (CHPA) or any other officer of the State from interfering with her possession and occupation of her property.
She was also seeking over $10 million in damages for what she wants the court to declare are breaches of her constitutional right not to have her property seized without compensation.
Singh’s attorney Anil Nandlall said the Judge ordered the State to pay $200,000.
Additionally, the ruling said the repossession of the woman’s property is a violation of her fundamental right and freedom as is guaranteed to her by Article 142 of the Constitution of Guyana.
The ruling said the repossession has breached any term or condition contained in any Agreement of Sale in respect of the said land or any transport or certificate of title in relation to the said land, more particularly, a condition which mandates the title holder or the transportee to be in occupation of the said land, is unlawful, contrary to and in breach of Article 142 of the Constitution of Guyana, in breach of natural justice, arbitrary, oppressive, unreasonable, capricious, null, void and of no effect.
The court also granted a Conservatory Order prohibiting servants and/or agents of the CHPA, the Housing Ministry or any other officer of the state from entering upon, remaining, occupying or in any manner whatsoever interfering with the woman’s quiet and peaceful possession, occupation and enjoyment at her property.
Meanwhile, in defending its move, the CHPA said it had seen evidence of persons sub-letting and, in one instance, attempting to sell one of the houses.
The Central Housing and Planning Authority had threatened and attempted to confiscate dozens of core homes which were allocated under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government to single-parents.
Several lawsuits have been filed already, challenging the State’s decision to repossess homes.
“Hopefully, this ruling puts this issue to rest finally,” Nandlall commented.