JSC to decide whether suspended senior Magistrate will be reassigned a Court

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By Tracey Khan – Drakes

Magistrate Chandra Sohan

[www.inewsguyana.com] –The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is expected to meet on Wednesday, February 18 to discuss the issues surrounding the suspension of senior Magistrate Chandra Sohan.

According to a source, the focus of that meeting will examine whether a Court will be re-assigned to the Magistrate. iNews was also told that Magistrate Sohan’s Attorney-at-Law Sanjeev Datadin received a letter from the Commission to this effect.

The action by the JSC follows Magistrate Sohan’s threats of legal action against the Commission it if he is not reinstated after the JSC failed to establish an inquiry into his suspension and the breach of his constitutional right, which is to defend himself.

The JSC’s Rule 80, sub rule six, states that when the 60 days period has passed in a matter regarding a suspended Magistrate, no inquiry can be held and the Magistrate should be allowed to return to work.

iNews was informed that Magistrate Sohan is still contemplating legal action against the Commission for its breach of his constitutional right.

The case surrounding Magistrate Sohan took a new twist earlier in the week after the woman at the center of his suspension claimed she never filed a complaint to the Chancellor of the Judiciary, Carl Singh.

According to the JSC, the Magistrate was suspended for displaying bias behavior against the woman because of his close friendship with her husband. The woman took her husband before the Court in a domestic violence matter at the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrates’ Court almost two years ago.

Magistrate Sohan, who was not assigned the Vreed-en-Hoop Court at the time, sat on the bench that day, however, when the matter involving the woman and her husband was brought before him, he recused himself, stating in open Court that both parties are personally known to him.

His suspension included three other incidents including his unauthorized absence from work on December 28, 2013; January 7, 2014 leaving the country during the month of December 2013 without permission and discrepancies, which the JSC said was unearthed between fines recorded by him on Court case jackets and those recorded on corresponding police case jackets in Court 7 or the Georgetown Magistrates’ court.

iNews was also informed that Magistrate Sohan was next in line for the promotion of Chief Magistrate and would have replaced Priya Sewnarine-Beharry who is expected to be elevated to a Judge soon.