How Justice Deyalsingh ruled
In December 2007, High Court judge Justice Lennox Deyalsingh ordered the land, with all necessary infrastructural amenities, must be handed over to ex-Caroni workers by June 30, 2008. Deyalsingh also ordered the State to pay the legal costs incurred by the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Rights Association, in bringing the case on behalf of the former workers.
The commitment to lease land to the former sugar workers was a condition of voluntary separation of employment packages (VSEP) which the workers accepted when the government shut down Caroni’s sugar-manufacturing operations mid-2003.
The association filed for judicial review of a statement made by then prime minister Patrick Manning in 2003 that the former workers’ application for leases would receive the same priority as other applications. The group claimed other government ministers had assured the workers would get priority consideration.
Attorney Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj has continuously stated Government, both past and present, have been breaching the Deyalsingh judgment.