AG wins judgment against CLICO group
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan says he has scored a victory over several CLICO EFPA policyholders, led by policyholder Percy Farrell, after the State won against the group at the Privy Council.
Farrell made an application to be appointed as representative of that class of persons who chose not to accept Government’s offer on the payout plan proposed by former finance minister Winston Dookeran and was granted an order in his favour by High Court Judge Devindra Rampersad in 2011.
Farrell and others mounted a constitutional challenge to the Government’s passage of the CBAA and other legislation passed by the Government to facilitate the payout plan. They are claiming a violation of their constitutional right to equality of treatment and to the protection of the law.
Farrell, Roheler and Inalsingh are all holders of EFPA policies with CLICO. In filed affidavits before the court, Farrell deposes that he is a holder of a CLICO policy with a deposit in excess of $4 million, a statement from the Office of the Attorney General said yesterday.
The CLICO depositors have made several applications to the Court in an attempt to get the Attorney General to finance their litigation. The Attorney General has stoutly resisted these applications, arguing that the depositors were persons of sufficient means who could afford to finance their litigation against the State. It would also set a dangerous precedent that could expose the State to similar applications in other matters, Ramlogan’s statement read.
The Privy Council refused Farrell’s application for special leave and took the unusual step of reversing its own order previously made to treat Farrell as a financially-assisted person.
As a consequence of the Order, Farrell and others shall now be liable to pay the State its legal costs at several levels of the litigation.
Yesterday, in dismissing Farrell’s application, the Privy Council ruled there was no merit in the application as no point of law of general or public interest was raised. Their Lordships dismissed the application with costs in favour of the Attorney General, the statement said.
The Attorney General was represented by British Queen’s Counsel Alan Newman, local attorney Kelvin Ramkissoon and State attorneys Kerri-Ann Oliverie and Zelica Haynes.
Farrell and others were represented by Dr Claude Denbow SC, Seenath Jairam SC and Senator Faris Al-Rawi.