Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 3rd 2015 Contents A5
Saturday, October 3, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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The State has announced its inten-
tion to challenge the decision of the
High Court that 32 police sergeants
who claimed they were illegally
bypassed must be promoted.
Acting Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams, who was ordered to
promote the officers to the rank of
inspector, yesterday confirmed that the
State had indicated its decision to chal-
lenge the ruling of Justice Margaret
Mohammed, who ordered him to
retroactively promote the officers as of
December 19, 2012.
However, one of the attorneys who
represented the officers in their petition,
Senior Counsel Ramesh Lawrence
Maharaj, said yesterday this pending
appeal did not act as a stay.
He said the officers would have to
be promoted and paid arrears, benefits
and allowances due to them since that
date as the court had ordered.
In an interview on i95.5FM yesterday,
Williams said he was contacted by an
attorney from the Deputy Solicitor Gen-
eral s Office who indicated the state s
intention to appeal.
"The State has indicated they were
not satisfied with the position taken
by the judge and they would be appeal-
ing," Williams said.
He said the case was one of a series
of matters dating back to 2012 for which
there were other court rulings in the
"So you have a series of issues and
the officers have been taking matters
before the court. You cannot stop a
person from pursuing their rights and
they have pursued their rights," he said.
Williams said all he did was carry
out the ruling of one of the substan-
tiative decisions of the court to publish
an order of merit list of promotion.
In light of that, he said, "these offi-
cers are saying I unfairly treated them.
So it is really about a court decision I
complied with and made promotions
consistent with that ruling."
He said it was now a matter of the
State doing what was necessary by
appealing the ruling and having the
Court of Appeal make a determination.
He said once this happened, whatever
the determination, "then you seek to
Attorneys representing the officers,
including Maharaj, Alvin Ramroop,
Kinglsey Walesby and Ronnie Bissessar,
claimed that the merit list system used
to promote some of the officers col-
leagues over them was unfair, given
that the same system previously had
them higher on the merit list and in
line for promotion. They also argued
that some of the officers had been act-
ing in the position of inspectors and
failure to promote them led to financial
Yesterday, Williams said everything
which highlighted conflict would neg-
atively impact on the police service s
image and this situation reflected con-
"It will have a negative impact on
the police service and its image and it
doesn t give the public that positive
image that everything is flowing
smoothly in the police service," he said.
The parents of 15-year-old Aniah
Camille Benoit are seeking the pub-
lic s help in locating her, after she
went missing on Tuesday afternoon.
According to police, Benoit, of
School Street, Train Line Road, Pinto
Road, Arima, was last seen at her
home around 4 pm on Tuesday and
was reported missing two days later.
Benoit is a pupil of the Arima North
Secondary School. She is of African
descent, with a round face, brown
skin, of medium build and with black,
Anyone with information on the
missing schoolgirl is asked to contact
the police at 999 or any police sta-
Meanwhile, head of the Northern
Division Snr Supt David Abraham
yesterday praised his officers and
thanked the public for their assistance,
after a 28-year-old man was arrested
with an unloaded gun outside a Sub-
way restaurant in Curepe.
Police said the 28-year-old San
Juan man was held with a 9mm
Berretta tucked in his waist around
Police said officers of the Northern
Division Task Force, including Cpl
Pamphile, PC Elliot and PC
McCarthy, were on mobile patrol in
Curepe when they received informa-
tion that the man was seen with the
gun in his waist. They subsequently
approached the man and arrested
him outside the business.
Abraham said, "I have to praise
the officers for their hard work in
getting another illegal firearm off the
streets. These things are commend-
able and it must be recognised.
"Members of the public who are
working with the police and notifying
us when things go wrong, or when
they see something, they too must
be commended. I also want to ask
them to continue to partner with
the police, as this is the only way
that we can reduce crime in this
Jenell Johnson-Phriday, of the Emergency Response Training
Company, looks on as six-year-old Christine Gray tries her hand
at operating a fire extinguisher during yesterday's public
exhibition in commemoration of Fire Prevention Week at the
Brian Lara Promenade, Port-of-Spain. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
Another hurdle for 32 cops in promotion fight
State set to
Arima girl, 15, missing since Tuesday
In an immediate response yesterday,
one of the attorneys who represented the
officers, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC,
said the State, like anybody else, had the
right of appeal under the Constitution of
However, Maharaj said, while it had that
right, the State had not put in any affidavit
to contradict the evidence put forward by
police officers, even though it was given
the opportunity by the judge to do so.
Neither the State nor Williams filed any
objection to the lawsuits.
Maharaj said it was therefore
mindboggling that the State would now
want to appeal, given that it might be very
difficult for it to succeed because there
was no answer to the officers' claims that
they were denied promotion.
He also said the pending appeal did not
act as a stay and so the acting CoP would
have to carry out the order of the judge to
promote and pay them. He said if Williams
wanted to suspend that order he would
have to convince the judge as to his
reasons for doing so.
STATE WAY TOO LATE---RAMESH
Aniah Camille Benoit
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