Dismissed Election Petition: Appeal Court grants leave for Jagdeo, Nandlall to challenge ruling at CCJ

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In a decision handed down earlier today, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, in his capacity as General Secretary of the PPP, and Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC have been granted leave by the Court of Appeal to head to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to appeal a ruling of that very court to take jurisdiction to hear an election petition filed on behalf of the APNU/AFC that was dismissed by the Chief Justice for non-service.

Making the decision was Chancellor of the Judiciary, Yonnette Cummings-Edwards. In addition to granting the leave to appeal to the higher court, the Appeal Court’s decision of December 21 to hear the election petition, will remain stayed until the CCJ makes a determination in the matter.

Previously, Trinidadian Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes on behalf of Jagdeo and Nandlall on had argued to the Court of Appeal that the petition’s dismissal by the High Court due to late service could not be appealed.

But in a 2 to 1 decision in December 2021, the Appeal Court had ruled that it did have jurisdiction to hear the appeal. However, the court had stayed its decision, allowing the applicants to then seek leave to appeal this decision to the CCJ.

The petition which was filed on September 15, 2020 was dismissed on January 18, 2021 by the Chief Justice as a result of the petitioners’ failure to effect service on the second-named respondent, former President David Granger, within the statutorily prescribed time.