Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall has approached the courts to have the Director of the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) Professor Clive Thomas and his Deputy, Aubrey Heath-Retemyer, removed from their positions.
He is arguing that their appointments are in contravention of the law.
In his application, Nandlall is asking the High Court to declare that both Thomas and Heath-Retemyer were not lawfully, validly and properly appointed in their respect posts at SARA.
He is also asking that they be removed, respectively, as Director and Deputy Director of SARA.
Thomas and Heath-Retemyer, both of whom were named respondents, were appointed in 2015 – at a time when there was no legislation governing the agency, which was named SARU at the time.
When the law was finally passed, SARU became SARA and Profess Thomas and Heath-Retemeyer remained in charge.
According to the court documents, the Director and the Deputy Director of SARA are appointed in accordance with the procedure set out in the Schedule of the SARA Act, which states that these two appointments be by a simple majority and by the recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments.
However, it was noted that since the appointment of the Director and the Deputy were before the enactment of the SARA Act, their appointments were catered for as “Transitional Arrangements – Staffing of SARA”.
This allows for persons employed prior to the SARA Act to retain their employment with all benefits but within four months after the commencement of the Act, they had to be recommended for appointment in the National Assembly.
Nandlall pointed out in the court documents that this was not done and as much, the two respondents are holding the positions and performing duties illegal.
He told the court that if they are not prohibited or restrained from doing so then all subsequent actions and decisions of SARA will be unlawful, null void and of no effect resulting in a waste of public funds and damaging the reputation of third parties.
This matter will be coming up for hearing on May 30 before Chief Justice Roxanne George.