Case reassigned to Justice Insanally

first_imgLGE hearing Acting Chief Justice Yonnette Cummings-Edwards on Wednesday reassigned the matter involving the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and Government back to Justice Diane Insanally, on Government’s decision to appoint a Mayor and Councillors in Local Authority Areas, where there have been ties following the recently conducted Local Government Elections (LGE).The court matter, which was first heard before Justice Insanally last week, was scheduled to be heard before Chief Justice (ag) Cummings-Edwards on Wednesday. After the hearing Wednesday morning, the acting Chief Justice directed that the matter be sent back to the High Court Judge.Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Basil WilliamsActing Chief Justice Yonnette Cummings-EdwardsAt a press conference following the hearing, Attorney Anil Nandlall said cases that are filed are public law cases and should therefore be heard by the Constitutional and Administrative Division of the High Court which is presided over the Chief Justice (acting).He said when the cases were filed the Chief Justice (acting) was out of the jurisdiction and the matters were assigned to Justice Diana Insanally by the relevant official(s) in the judiciary with the authority to do so.“When the matters were heard on April 6, Justice Insanally indicated that she was instructed only to hear the Orders Nisi and then to transmit the matters over to the Chief Justice (acting). This Justice Insanally did and the orders granted reflect that the matters were fixed before the Chief Justice for the 20th of April, 2016, for continuation,” Nandlall said.Nandlall said when he arrived at the Chief Justice’s Court on Wednesday, he was informed that the Chief Justice had re-assigned the matter back to Justice Insanally.“When the matters were called before Justice Insanally, she expressed deep reservations about hearing the matters, contending that the matters should be heard by the Chief Justice and that she sent a note to this effect to the Chief Justice”.Eventually, Nandlall said Justice Insanally heard the matters and leave was granted to the Attorney General to file and serve Affidavits in Answer within seven days. Leave was also granted to me to file and serve Affidavits in Reply within seven days of receipt of the Affidavits in Answer. The matters were adjourned to May 6, for hearing.“Nevertheless, we are still unclear before which court the matters will be heard as Justice Insanally continues to maintain that the matters should be heard by the Chief Justice”.Nandlall said the entire episode is wholly regrettable since Judges are expected to hear and determine matters which come before them irrespective of how controversial, political or emotional the subject matter is. After all, a Judge must be strong and resolute and must rule based upon the evidence and in accordance with law. No other factor ought to influence any judge in his/her decision making.“The law in relation to these matters is crystal clear and beyond controversy. It is deliberately being misinterpreted by those who are bent on defeating the will of the electorate and trampling upon the democratic process. I also believe that they know that they are hopelessly wrong but ego and pride are preventing them from so admitting the same and taking the corrective measures”.He said it therefore matters very little which Judge hears these matters.“In my view, there is only one way that a fair and competent Judge can rule. I sincerely hope therefore, that these matters will be afforded a fair hearing within reasonable time”.The matter under contention followed ties in the municipality of Mabaruma and then neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) of Woodlands/Farm, Woodlands/Bel Air, the Malgre Tout and Industry/Plaisance, following the LGE elections.Responding to those these ties, Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan moved ahead and appointed a Mayor for Mabaruma as well as Chairmen and Vice Chairmen in the tied NDCs. This did not sit well with the Opposition, which maintained that the move had no legal bearing. The Party later moved to the High Court and was granted an order by Judge Diana Insanally which saw the appointments being quashed. It also restrained the officials from acting in their appointed capacities.last_img

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