Monday, February 19, 2018

Judge dismisses Dumas application on President

 High Court Judge Robin Mohammed yesterday dismissed an application filed by former head of the Public Service Reginald Dumas which had sought to challenge the decision of Parliament to approve the nomination by President Anthony Carmona of Dr James Armstrong and Roamar Achat Saney to the Police Service Commission.

The judgment stated that the claimant had brought proceedings for the interpretation of Section 122 (3) of the Constitution. He said however under the Civil Proceedings Rules any interpretation of the Constitution can only be carried out by the Court where the claimant alleges a breach of his or her fundamental rights and freedoms. “This has not been alleged by the Claimant. Accordingly it is this Court’s view that the present proceedings have not been properly instituted,” the judge stated.

He added that the claimant (Dumas) had suggested that the Court had the power to correct an error of procedure. “However, the present circumstances are such that on the clear wording of the CPR (Civil Proceedings Rules), the type of action sought to be brought by the Claimant- proceedings for interpretation of the Constitution where no infringement of fundamental rights and freedoms has been alleged- is simply not permitted. Accordingly, this Court cannot convert and allow that which is not permitted under the CPR. Accordingly the Claimant’s dismissed. The Claimant shall pay to the defendant costs.” 

Appearing for Dumas were Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj SC and Elaine V Green, instructed by Margaret Clerk. Appearing for the Attorney General (State) were Avory Sinanan, Donna Prowell and Richard Arjoon, instructed by Sean Julien. 

Dumas had challenged the constitutionality of the appointment of Armstrong and Achat Saney based on his view that they were unqualified.