Suspended Magistrate saga takes news twist; JSC threatened with legal action

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Senior Magistrate, Chandra Sohan

By Tracey Khan – Drakes

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The case surrounding suspended Senior Magistrate, Chandra Sohan has taken a new twist, as the woman at the center of his suspension claims she never filed a complaint to the Chancellor of the Judiciary, Carl Singh.

According to the JSC, Sohan 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.

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.

A close associate of the woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, told iNews the same story today in an exclusive interview on Tuesday, February 10. The associate also explained to iNews that the woman only requested of the Chancellor that another Magistrate preside over the matter.

iNews also obtained a copy of the letter that was sent to the Chancellor dated December, 03, 2013. The letter did not state that the Magistrate took the side of her husband in the matter.

Sohan’s 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.

Meanwhile, iNews understands that the Magistrate, through his Attorney, Sanjeev Datadin, has threatened to take legal action against the JSC if he is not reinstated.

This follows the JSC’s failure to set up 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.

Some legal minds believe that this rule is being blatantly disregarded in the case of Sohan.

iNews was also informed that 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.

 

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