By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Attorney General Anil Nandlall is of the belief that a “dilatory, time wasting strategy” is being employed by the opposition in the hearings surrounding the Budget Cut Case.
However, Attorney – at – Law and Opposition Member of Parliament Basil Williams has expressed a different belief. He says in comparison to how cases are handled traditionally, the case is being rushed.
An appeal in the Budget Cut Case which was filed by Leader of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), David Granger against a decision taken by Chief Justice Ian Chang to exclude him from hearings, convened on Monday September 30 in the High Court before Justices James Bovell-Drakes and Rishi Persaud.
Within minutes of the commencement of the hearing, Williams asked for an adjournment and for a later date to be set to allow him to prepare fully, citing the current recess of the National Assembly as a constraint since it was the only time he could travel and the other lawyers, who are also parliamentarians were out of the jurisdiction. He also expressed the view that the case was being rushed.
“I personally have appeal cases in the court for years” he added. This request in its initial stages was met with rejection from Justice Bovell-Drakes who sought to dispel the link Williams made between the case and the National Assembly.
“I don’t know if the case is being rushed… I’m not concerned with that, I received an assignment, I do not want this case to be handled with politics,” Bovell- Drakes said.
In objection to Williams’ request the Attorney General told the court that since the appeal was filed on June 25 this year by Williams, he participated fully in the preparations and knew what was going on. In this regard he said Williams had no good and proper reason for making his request and ask that the court either proceed with the hearing or dismiss the appeal.
“He should be happy to have his grievances ventilated quickly,” Nandlall told the court.
He told iNews in a separate interview, “It is specious the reasons being advanced for the adjournment. “I don’t understand why, you hear a constant complain all the time that the judiciary is working too slowly and there is too much backlog in cases… now you have a case where the judiciary is moving with some degree of dispatch and you get the reverse complain now… we have to decide what is it we want.”
The case was eventually adjourned and Williams was granted the time he asked for. The case will commence on October 22 at 13:00hrs where the two lawyers will start arguments. Williams and Nandlall will have to make their written submissions on or before October 11.
Representing the Appellant, David Granger in the appeal hearings are Basil Williams, Joseph Harmon and Deobrah Backer, while Anil Nadlall, Safraz Hussein and Ariana McLean is representing the Government.
Government had taken the Opposition to court following the slashing of the 2012 and 2013 National Budgets by billions of dollars claiming it was unconstitutional.