Two months later and suspended Magistrates yet to return to work


By Tracey Khan – Drakes

Magistrate Chandra Sohan.

[] – It has been 62 days since Magistrate Chandra Sohan was suspended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) over two matters that date back to a year ago without any resolution in sight.

As a matter of fact, the JSC is yet to commission an inquiry into the matter and according to the rules set out by the JSC, if no such inquiry is held within 60 days, then the Magistrate can return to work.

According to one legal practitioner, 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 and Magistrate Alex Moore who has also been suspended well past the 60 days period.

Sohan was hauled before the JSC, allegedly without a proper hearing and suspended without being given an opportunity to defend himself.

According to reports reaching iNews, Sohan is ready to work and is waiting for a Court to be assigned to him by the JSC, but he is yet to receive a word from the JSC on his matter.

Magistrate Alex Moore.

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.

Some believe that the recent sanction was imposed on him to block his upward mobility in the legal system.

The matters that the Magistrate was suspended for relate to a domestic violence incident that he presided over at its initial stage; however the matter was transferred to another Magistrate who delivered a verdict.

But the female complainant felt Sohan was too lenient towards her husband even though he did not deliver a verdict in the matter, so she wrote to the JSC expressing her displeasure over the outcome of the matter.

The JSC also dug up another year old matter where Magistrate Sohan reportedly left the jurisdiction without permission following the death of his overseas based grandfather.

Prior to Sohan’s suspension, controversial Magistrate Alex Moore was also suspended by the JSC indefinitely following allegations of inappropriate behavior made by an East Coast Demerara businesswoman.

An inquiry is yet to be held into his matter as well.

It was Magistrate Moore who handed down a surprising five year suspended sentence to confessed drug trafficker, Leonard Bacchus; a decision which was heavily criticized by sections of the legal fraternity. The sentence means that the man will serve no jail time.




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