Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Illogical order, says TTTTA lawyer

T&T'S MOST SUCCESSFUL PLAYERS: Dexter St Louis, left, and Rheann Chung

Dinesh Rambally, advocate attorney for the Trinidad and Tobago Table Tennis Association (TTTTA) in the selection dispute matter involving Dexter St Louis and Rheann Chung, has described the court order issued on Wednesday by Madame Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell as “illogical”.

Donaldson-Honeywell dismissed the application for an order compelling the TTTTA to initiate arbitration by the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC). The high court judge, however, also instructed that “the interim injunction reinstated on January 24, 2018 is to continue until further order.”

The TTTTA named Aaron Wilson and Yuvraaj Dookram as its choices for the April 4-15 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, with Arun Roopnarine chosen as the reserve.

But St Louis and Chung, the country’s most successful players, challenged the selections, and were granted injunctive relief by the high court, preventing the TTTTA “from taking any further steps to implement the decision”.

Rambally told the Express, yesterday, he did not agree with Donaldson-Honeywell’s order.

“My view is that the order of the judge is totally illogical…that a court would make a finding dismissing a request to invoke arbitration because there was no legal basis, and having done so, still continue the injunction.”

Wednesday’s court order also addressed the issue of “wasted costs”.

“Notice is hereby given to Attorneys at law for the Defendant pursuant to CPR 66.9 (1) that the issue as to whether at the conclusion of the trial on March 5, 2018 a wasted costs order should be made in favour of the Claimants is being considered.”

In explaining “the grounds on which the said order is being considered”, Donaldson-Honeywell referred to the TTTTA’s refusal to attempt TTOC arbitration.

“We cannot comment on it,” said Rambally, “because it is still in court. But we find it interesting that as lawyers we would be threatened with a cost sanction in this matter.”

The St Louis/Chung vs TTTTA trial has been scheduled for March 5. The “individual sport entries deadline” for the Commonwealth Games is March 7. However, with Gold Coast, Australia 14 hours ahead of T&T, even if the high court matter is decided in one day, the TTOC would have much less than 48 hours to complete the entry process for the country’s table tennis team.

T&T’s Gold Coast 2018 chef de mission, TTOC vice president Diane Henderson could not be reached for comment.