However, the matter is yet to be called up at the High Court. The April 2016 session commenced on Tuesday with a total of 163 cases listed to be heard. Justices Navindra Singh, Jo-Ann Barlow and Priya Sewnarine-Beharry are presiding over the Assizes.
Carnal knowledge-accused Chandra Narine Sharma, owner of CNS Channel 6 television station, is likely to face trial in the April Criminal Assizes in Demerara.
Sharma is facing an indictable charge for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl in 2010. After undergoing a Preliminary Inquiry (PI), which faced several delays, the businessman and politician was committed to stand trial back in May 2013, after the presiding Magistrate Sueanna Lovell found that a prima facie case was made out against the popular television owner and talk show host.
Sharma’s case is listed for hearing by Justice Barlow’s; however, it is unclear whether the matter will be tried in this session.
In April 2010, then Chief Magistrate Melissa Ogle-Robertson had remanded Sharma to prison when he made his first appearance in court on the charge. It was a scene of high drama, with Sharma collapsing in front of the media cameras as he made his way out of the prisoners’ chute.
He was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he regained consciousness shortly after the incident. He was later granted bail in the sum of $2 million.
In a sworn affidavit, the 13-year-old girl alleged that Sharma had been sexually molesting her and her sisters, with the consent of their mother. The girl said the abuse only stopped when she refused to return to her mother’s home.
In the affidavit, the girl also alleged that Sharma molested her two older sisters and two younger ones (who were nine and five years old respectively at the time). The girl had also claimed that she would receive $2000 weekly from Sharma. The child also stated that she was afraid of Sharma.
The entire court proceedings at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts were held in camera away from the public eye.
Sharma is also the leader of the Justice For All Party (JFAP), which is part of the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) coalition.