Sacked Magistrate accuses Chancellor of victimization

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By Tracey Khan-Drakes

Chancellor of the Judiciary, Carl Singh.

[www.inewsguyana.com] –Senior Magistrate Chandra Sohan is yet to receive his dismissal letter from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) which would formally relieve him of his post.

Sohan was informed via media reports that he was fired by the JSC even though an inquiry surrounding his suspension was not completed along with the outcome of his appeal in the Court.

The sacked Magistrate is of the firm belief that he is being “victimized” by the Chancellor of the Judiciary Carl Singh, who also sits as Chairman of the JSC.

During a telephone interview with iNews on February, 22, Sohan explained that the JSC stepped out of its jurisdiction by launching an inquiry into his suspension even after the 60 days period elapsed, which means that he was no longer obligated to appear before the JSC and should have been reassigned a court.

The JSC’s Rule 80, sub rule 6 states that when the 60 days period has passed, no inquiry can be held by the JSC; however this was not the case when Sohan was summoned before the JSC on February, 18.

Chandra Sohan

Sohan plans to legally challenge the decision of the JSC. iNews understands that it is the Chancellor who has to give a fixture for the Court of Appeal to proceed with Sohan’s request for the JSC’s decision to be quashed.

“If he [Singh] decides that he is not going to do that for another five or six years, then we will be stuck right where we are…the Chancellor is the one who complained against me to the Commission, yet he sat on the Commission as the Chairman in the first instance when I was suspended and then when they called me before the Commission on the 18th; he then again was the Chairperson of the Commission, so the Chancellor sat as the complainant and the prosecutor, right from the start he should have recused himself and let the rest of the Commission deal with it,” Sohan told iNews.

“He is in a position of influence and he is biased, he is prejudicial…he is one who is complaining against me, he is the one who wants to try me then don’t you know or think that there is going to be bias?”

Sohan says he intends to pursue the matter until he is treated fairly and justice is served.

“If I am being treated like this as a senior judicial officer then what do we expect the average person to face when we end up in situation like this? So if not only for myself, I believe the record needs to be set straight as to how we go about dealing with matters of a judicial nature when it comes to the system.”

He also sought to clear reports circulating in one section of the media that he was charged for drunk and dangerous driving.

“To allege that I have somehow altered the records to show reprimand and discharge for whatever the case is; how could I have been able to access those records, how could I have tried myself?”

He noted that the report is damaging and he was promised a retraction since it is untrue.

Sohan was suspended by the JSC on December 03, 2014 for 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 discovered between fines recorded by him on Court case jackets and those recorded on corresponding police case jackets in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.