..Proceedings to commit Finance Minister to prison over non-payment of judgments looming- Nandlall
Justice Diana Insanally handed down her ruling in the case filed by former Guyana High Commissioner to Canada, Harry Narine Nawbatt against the Attorney General on Monday.
Nawbatt sued the Attorney General in April 2016, through his Attorneys-at-Law, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, Manoj Narayan and Rajendra Jaigobin claiming that his contract of employment was not lawfully terminated and seeking his salaries, emoluments and other benefits owing under the said contract.
After a full-blown trial and hearing submissions from lawyers for both sides, on Monday the judge ruled granting judgment to Nawbatt in the sum of:
(i) twenty-four million, two hundred and ninety-five thousand, one hundred and four dollars ($24,295,104);
(ii) five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) for breach of contract;
(iii) interest on the said sums at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of filing to the date of judgment and thereafter at the rate of 4% per annum until fully paid;
(iv) costs in the sum of $50,000.
According to former Attorney General Nandlall “We filed similar cases in 2015/2016 for former Advisor to the Minister of Local Government, Clinton Collymore, Zulfikar Mustapha, former Liaison Officer to the Office of the President for Region No. 6 and Ms Anna Correia, who was employed by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs.”
He noted that in all these cases, the Plaintiffs sued for damages for wrongful dismissal/unlawful termination of their contracts of employment.
Nandlall posited that again, after a trial of each of these cases, judgments were awarded to each of them in various sums as compensation along with interest and costs. The Attorney General was the Defendant in all of these cases.
The former Attorney General noted that no appeals were filed against any of these decisions, yet, the incumbent Attorney General “has consistently refused to honour these judgments although we have made repeated written requests for him to do so.”
However, “we note in some cases, judgments are quickly paid, taxes are written off and in one case, a mere letter threatening litigation attracted the payment of approximately US$ 5.7 million” said Nandlall.
According to attorney, the “relevant proceedings will be commenced shortly to commit the Minister of Finance to prison for non-payment of these judgments.”