Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 30th 2014 Contents A5
Tuesday, December 30, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Despite his mother s efforts to shield
his tiny body with her own, three-year-
old Ravendra Gattoo was killed instantly
when a truck slammed into the vehicle his
family was travelling in along the M2 Ring
Road, yesterday morning.
Five other members of his family were
rushed to hospital for treatment, with his
mother listed in critical condition.
Around 11.15 am yesterday, Ravendra, his
mother Samantha Gattoo, his six-year-old
sister Stacy, all of Bejucal, Cunupia and his
grandparents, Laloutie Balraj and Balraj
Maniram of Barrackpore, were travelling in
a Mitsubishi four-door van driven by Gat-
too s cousin, identified only as Kumar.
According to relatives at the scene, as
soon as Kumar entered the M2 Ring Road
in Picton, he saw the truck, with a 40-foot
trailer, swerving along the roadway from a
few hundred feet away.
Relatives said Kumar thought the truck
would not hit the van if he came to a com-
plete stop while the truck was still at least
two hundred feet away from them.
However, the truck never stopped and
hit the right side of the van, forcing it into
a ditch on the side of the road.
Ramoutar Balraj, the uncle of the dead
child, who spoke to the Guardian at the
scene, said his sister and her children were
visiting their grandparents in Barrackpore
over the weekend and Kumar was taking
them back to their Bejucal Road, Cunupia
"They come to spend holidays and
Kumar was dropping them back home,"
"I don t know how my sister will take
this, she don t even know yet."
Balraj said Samantha, his only sister, was
accustomed to spending time with her
family in Barrackpore.
"Mantha (Samantha), does always bring
the children to spend time with my mother
and father. Everybody loved them two chil-
dren, just yesterday I was playing with him
and look at him now, just lie down there,"
he said, with tears running down his face.
He is calling for justice for his nephew s
"The truck driver should be charged, he
telling the police Is just ah accident, but
them truck drivers doh care if people dead
or live. He could have swerved to the other
side of the road! Look at that child, he life
ent even start yet. I hope they lock him
The child s father, Rocky Gattoo, who
rushed to the scene when he was given
the news, stood in the rain looking on at
the body of his three-year-old son, unable
The driver of the truck, who was not
identified, remained on the scene speaking
to police after the accident. He appeared
The Law Association is calling on the
Judicial and Legal Service Commission
(JLSC) to act swiftly and decisively on mis-
conduct allegations leveled against High
Court Judge Carla Browne-Antoine.
In a press release issued yesterday after-
noon, the association s vice president Gerry
Brooks acknowledged receipt of a complaint
letter sent to the JLSC by acting senior
State prosecutor Brent Winter, earlier this
While he admitted that the association
did not have the jurisdiction to entertain
the complaint or pronounce on Winter s
grievances, Brooks said: "It (the association)
calls upon the JLSC, the duly appointed
body in law, to act expeditiously and take
any or all action deemed appropriate in
As he stated that he was confident that
the rule of law will be maintained through-
out the ongoing process, Brooks said his
organisation was willing to assist in the
resolution of the matter.
According to the letter which was sent
to JLSC chairman Chief Justice Ivor Archie,
on December 8, Winter accused Brown-
Antoine of being biased and acting unfairly
by holding off-the-record meetings with
State prosecutors during trials at the Port-
of-Spain High Court.
The letter was copied to the association
as well as to president of the Criminal Bar
Association Pamela Elder, SC.
Winter claimed the most recent meeting
was held one month earlier, on November
6, shortly after she empanelled the 12-
member jury in a murder trial before her.
Brown-Antoine has since recused herself
from the case for reasons unrelated to Win-
ter s allegations.
Judicial sources said the JLSC is expected
to appoint an independent investigator to
probe the allegations before it decides on
whether disciplinary charges should be
brought against Brown-Antoine.
In the event that charges are proffered,
Brown-Antoine will be asked to make rep-
resentations before a JLSC tribunal before
the commission makes its final determi-
Brown-Antoine was appointed a High
Court Judge in 2009, after an almost 20-
year career with the Office of the Director
of Public Prosecutions (DPP) which saw
her serve as Deputy DPP and acting DPP.
Brown-Antoine was a key figure in the
case against former Chief Justice Satnarine
Sharma for attempting to pervert the course
The case never reached trial after then
Chief Magistrate Sherman McNicholls, the
State s main witness against Sharma,
refused to testify during commital pro-
ceedings in 2007.
McNicholls actions left him facing two
disciplinary charges from the JLSC, which
were eventually dropped after he fell ill
The designer of the new TT$50 note,
Stephen Pond, says the images used, including
the picture of the female masquerader in an
award-winning costume, represented the
"essence" of the country.
Pond, a senior designer with De La Rue, the
world s largest commercial banknote printer,
said that in a November 14 interview with the
Central Bank s Charlene Ramdhanie.
Ramdhanie said Pond was the person "who
worked on our note and ultimately selected the
Carnival image that was used and when the
"draft" was presented to us, we all just loved
it."In explaining the process for selection of the
image, Pond said it must meet the security
requirement for the note and also must be a
true representation of the country.
"It is about picking the right images for the
process and also the one (image) you feel most
captures the essence of the country."
Ramdhanie said the bank "was part of the
design process in other ways, but Stephen
selected the image."
And the bank yesterday expressed its disap-
pointment over the public discontent on social
networks over its redesigned $50 note.
In a statement, the bank said while it respects
freedom of speech, "it is deeply disappointed
by the few, who are twisting the use of this
beautiful Carnival image, that reflects an element
of our cultural beauty as a country."
Some citizens have used social networks to
describe the picture of the female masquerader
in an award-winning costume as depicting a
Hindu image, a serpent queen and even the
The bank said however: "All feedback from
our public outreach sessions and online survey
have been 99 per cent positive.
But a video expressing concern about the
note was posted on Facebook and has gone
viral with many people going on social media
condemning those who have spoken out against
the redesigned note.
Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Dr Lincoln
Douglas and Minister in the Finance and the
Economy Ministry Rudranath Indarsingh
defended the redesigned note at the weekend
saying critics were just engaging in acts of divi-
De La Rue has been used to design and pro-
duce T&T currency over the past 50 years. The
firm is based in England.
Baby dead, mother critical
JLSC urged to act quickly on judge
Rocky Gattoo is
inconsolable as the
body of his son
Ravendra (inset) lies
on the M2 Ring
Road, Picton after a
truck ran into the
van in which the
family was traveling
KRISTIAN DE SILVA
De La Rue chose
De La Rue
of the new
TT $50 bill.
Central Bank upset at uproar
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