Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 10th 2016 Contents A5
Friday, June 10, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The High Court order granted last December "freez-
ing" the assets of Super Industrial Services (SIS) was
still in place and there has been no dismissal of the
matter brought against SIS by the National Gas Com-
pany, Minister Stuart Young (Office of the Prime Min-
ister) stressed yesterday.
NGC had applied for and obtained an injunction
granted by the court last year, freezing SIS assets in
its ongoing contractual dispute with the company over
the construction of the Beetham Water Recycling Plant.
At yesterday s post-Cabinet media briefing, Young
stressed there had been no change in that as he denied
yesterday s Express report which stated the assets had
been "unfrozen". He said he was very surprised at the
"There has been no lifting of the injunction regarding
SIS assets and there has been no dismissal of the matter
brought by NGC against SIS. In fact, the judge (in this
matter) has called for a hearing tomorrow morning.
"My understanding is that SIS has taken a certain
position in law which NGC s attorneys feel are wholly
inaccurate. A judge will have to decide. But the matter
hasn t been dismissed or thrown out, it s a very live
matter - and in particular there has been no lifting of
the injunction over SIS assets," he said.
Young warned anyone who had to do anything in
connection with SIS assets to be "very careful. Despite
what was reported in the newspapers, the injunction
continues to be in place."
Young said he understood the attorneys may be look-
ing at contempt proceeding, as he understood "Rain
Forest, which appears to be a shell company, had certain
mortgages over the SIS assets to a certain tune... those
may have been released and discharged and may be in
breach of the court order."
In this matter, he said, it had been found that the
company called Rain Forest had taken mortgages for
"hundreds of millions" without any passage of money,
over SIS assets and the mortgages have now apparently
been released. He claimed that action "may very well
be in contempt of the current court order."
Yesterday the NGC also denied, via a statement,
there was any "unfreezing" of the court order.
"Contrary to reports appearing in the media, the
freezing order granted by the High Court on December
23, 2015 on the application of the National Gas Company
of T&T Ltd over the assets of Super Industrial Services
Limited up to the value of TT$180,000,000, remains
in effect," NGC stated.
"The injunction granted by the High Court on Decem-
ber 23, 2015, restraining Rain Forest Resorts Limited
from disposing of properties mortgaged to it by SIS
also remains in place. Neither the freezing order, the
injunction nor the action have been struck out by the
High Court. There is no court order to that effect," it
NGC said the matter was still engaging the attention
of the High Court but noted SIS was contending by
letter from its attorneys that the matter had ended.
"While the injunction remains in force it has come
to the attention of NGC that RFRL has released the
mortgages over the SIS properties which are the subject
of the injunction. The High Court will be asked to grant
relief in respect of this breach of the order of the High
Court," it said.
NGC also stated that under the High Court order
which continued in force "it is a contempt of court for
any person or entity notified of the freezing order and
injunction knowingly to assist in or permit a breach of
the order of the High Court."
Minister in the Office of the Prime
Minister Stuart Young says Finance Min-
ister Colm Imbert will deliver a state-
ment in Parliament today on Govern-
ment s withdrawal of $2.5 billion from
the Heritage and Stablisation Fund
Government has come under fire for
the "quiet" withdrawal recently.
At yesterday s post-Cabinet media
briefing, Young said Government had sig-
nalled use of the HSF s stabilisation com-
ponent, especially (to bridge gaps in fund-
ing) during delivery of the 2016 Budget,
in the Prime Minister s December address
and in the mid-year review.
He said an investigation was also con-
tinuing into the source of the bomb threat
at Trincity Mall over the last holiday week-
end and a breakthrough was hoped for
regarding the culprit who made the call.
A person who was initially held in the
matter was released.
Following another bomb threat hoax
at the University of the West Indies this
week, Young warned that such calls were
a breach of the anti-terrorism law if suf-
ficient evidence was found to prosecute
On Venezuela s US$50 million goods
supply arrangement with T&T, Young
said Venezuela would pay the money for
the goods directly to local manufacturers.
He said they hoped to have items finalised
by next week for shipment. He said the
Trade Minister would deliver a statement
on that soon. He added he was not aware
of any different treatment for Venezuelan
nationals coming to T&T from Jamaican
On the process towards permanent
appointment of a police commissioner,
which has started, Young said Government
expected that by now the identification
of a firm to do the public procurement
process would have been done by the
Police Service Commission, which is han-
dling the matter.
Government would also move to pro-
claim the SSA Bill shortly, he added. (GA)
NGC denies erroneous media report
SIS assets still frozen
National Gas Company (NGC) chairman, Gerry
Brooks, says it was very unfortunate that a completely
erroneous impression about the NGC/SIS court
matter was created by attorney Ramesh Lawrence
"Firstly, Maharaj is not privy to the proceedings
and secondly, the High Court action is actively before
the judge," Brooks said, as he noted it was solely up
to the judge to make a pronouncement on the mat-
ter.But Maharaj, in a statement, said although he was
not the SIS attorney, he represented several companies
which were not owned by SIS or were subsidiaries
of SIS and those companies and their workers were
affected by the freeze order. As a result, the jobs of
approximately 800 workers were in jeopardy, he
"I received the documents from the workers of
these companies which show the correspondence
which passed between SIS lawyers, NGC s lawyers
and the Registry of the Court.
"Based on the contents of those letters, I looked
at the rules of court and it is clear to me that the
claim is struck out. Consequently, the freezing order
which was granted in support of the claim was also
automatically struck out.
"In law, when a claim is struck out it is a dead
claim and all the proceedings in relation to the claim
are dead," Maharaj said.
Maharaj said the situation occurred because NGC
had failed to apply for relief. He said under Rule 27.3
(b) of the Civil Proceeding Rules (CPR), the High
Court was required to give notice of a case manage-
ment conference within 14 days of filing of the last
defence in cases with two or more defendants.
In this case, he said the court was required to give
notice by the March 7, 2016 but did not.
He said if the court failed to give notice within 14
days, the claimant was required to apply for a date
for a case management conference but that did not
occur and the claim was therefore automatically
struck out on March 22.
Maharaj said NGC had three months from the date
of the service of the defences, February 22, 2016, to
apply for relief from the sanction that the claim had
been automatically struck out.
"Three months from February 22 would be May 22
2016. This is the only remedy which the CPR gave to
NGC to apply to the court for relief from the sanction
of the claim being automatically struck out," Maharaj
added. With reporting by Rhondor Dowlat.
Colm talks on HSF $
in House today
Rear Admiral Juan Carlos Oti, Commanding Officer of the Venezuelan Coast Guard,
left, congratulates National Security Minister Edmund Dillon after he (Oti)
presented the Venezuelan Coast Guard's highest medal (TN Pedro Lucas Urribarri)
to Dillon at a ceremony at the Venezuela Embassy in Port-of-Spain yesterday.
T&T Coast Guard Commanding Officer Hayden Pritchard, centre, was also
presented with the Merit Award of Honour of the Venezuelan Coast Guard.
Looking on are Commander Douglas Archer, Military Attaché at the T&T Embassy
in Venezuela, second left, and Coromoto Godoy Calderon, Ambassador of
Venezuela, who was also received a "TN Pedro Lucas Urribarri" medal from Oti.
PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
CONFLICTING VIEWS ON CASE
Links Archive June 9th 2016 June 11th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page