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Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, July 15, 2016
Judge on aspects of top cop selection order:
A judge has ruled that certain
aspects of Cabinet s new proposal for
the selection and appointment of a
police commissioner and his deputies
Deliverering a 51-page judgment in
the Port-of-Spain High Court yester-
day, Justice Peter Rajkumar struck out
several measures introduced in the
Police (Selection Process) Order of 2015,
which he said constituted an "unjus-
tifiable and unlawful fetter on and inter-
ference with the independence, juris-
diction and functions of the Police
Service Commission (PSC).
Among the offending measures iden-
tified by Rajkumar was a provision
requiring the Minister of National Secu-
rity to initiate the recruitment procedure
and another compelling it to utilise
State-owned procurement company,
Nipdec, to select a local recruitment
agency which would then be contracted
to assist in the selection process.
Refering to the involvement of a Gov-
ernment minister in the process, Rajku-
mar said the Constitution did not
require such as the role could be filled
by an independent PSC.
"It is clear also that the ability to
influence and in fact control the deci-
sion as to whether or not an appoint-
ment process should be initiated, carries
with it the ability to influence the out-
come of that process," Rajkumar said.
He also criticised the order's removal
of the PSC's insulation from the Central
Tenders Board Act which was vital for
its selection of a local recruitment firm.
"The commission must, in order to
retain its constitutionally recognised
and mandated independence and power
to appoint a Commissioner and Deputy
Commissioner, be free to use a firm of
its own choosing, or even free not to
utilise such a firm if it choses," Rajkumar
He also chose to strike out a provision
of the order, which gives the selected
recruitment firm the power to decide
upon a shortlist of candidates to present
to the PSC for its consideration.
The lawsuit was initiated by retired
police Insp Harridath Maharaj after the
order was brought into effect by legal
Maharaj said he did so in the "public's
interest,"as he claimed he had witnessed
first-hand the debilitating effects polit-
ical interference could have on the prop-
er and efficient management of the
Maharaj's contentions were rejected
by both attorneys for the State and the
PSC, who agreed that the procedure
introduced by the latest order afforded
the commission more power than the
last order issued in 2009.
As they both noted that the PSC's
independence was sacrosanct, they
stated that Cabinet did not overstep
Attorneys, who represented the Office
of the Attorney General, also defended
the order's provision for the use of
Nipdec to select the recruitment agency.
"The commission has a limited budg-
et. There is nothing wrong with the
PSC using the facilities of the State to
achieve its objectives," Mendes said.
Maharaj is also being represented by
Anand Ramlogan, SC, Gerald Ramdeen,
Kent Samlal, Jayanti Lutchmedial and
The Office of the Attorney General
was represented by Douglas Mendes,
SC, and Rishi Dass while Russel Mar-
tineau, SC, appeared for the PSC.
Man killed over bay rum
Police have arrested a 58-year-old
Biche labourer in connection with the
death of Jhankoo Sylvester who died
after being bludgeoned with a piece
of lumber during a fight over a $5 bot-
tle of bay rum on Tuesday.
The suspect will be charged with
murder once senior investigators get
directives from the Director of Public
Prosecutions, Roger Gaspard.
Sylvester, of Plum Mitan Road, was
liming with the suspect close to his
home around 7 pm when they got into
an argument over the bay rum.
Witnesses told police the suspect
grabbed a piece of lumber and hit
Sylvester on his head.
He returned to his home and on
Wednesday he was found unrespon-
An autopsy conducted by forensic
pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov at the
Forensic Sciences Centre, St James,
found that Sylvester died of blunt force
trauma to his head.
PC Glad of the Homicide Division
Region III is continuing investigations.
Deyalsingh back home from hospital
Health Minister Terrence
Deyalsingh will remain at home
today recuperating from the ill-
effects of a flu which landed him
in hospital for two days.
However, he is expected to return
to work on Monday.
According to his wife, who
responded to queries about the
minister's health yesterday, Deyals-
ingh was officially discharged from
the Port-of-Spain General Hospital
around 12.30 pm.
Revealing they did not leave the
hospital until 1 pm as the minister
stopped to speak with health pro-
fessionals and others at the facility,
Mrs Deyalsingh said:
"They did a myriad of tests and
nothing specific has turned up. He
had the flu very, very badly over
the last couple days and it appears
he was dehydrated. They have not
determined anything else."
Asked if the minister's blood
count had improved as it was said
to be a little low on Wednesday,
his wife confirmed that "it was
back up now."
On Wednesday, she said Deyals-
ingh had not tested positive for
either the Zika or dengue viruses.
The Office of the Prime Minister
and the Ministry of Health both
issued releases confirming Deyals-
ingh's discharge from hospital.
The two releases which mirrored
each other read: "The Honourable
Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of
Health, was admitted to the Port-
of-Spain General Hospital yesterday
(July 13th, 2016) for observation
"His condition has significantly
improved and he was discharged
from that hospital earlier today. He
wishes to thank all the staff
involved in his excellent treatment
and care for their sensitivity and
professionalism throughout his stay
at the hospital."
Meanwhile, the Ministry of
Health has cancelled this morning's
media briefing which was sched-
uled to take place at the ministry.
Cash Dash jackpot $500
Responding to judgment at the
weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at
the Office of the Prime Minister, St
Clair, yesterday, Attorney General
Faris Al-Rawi, who piloted the order,
said the judgment was not a defeat
for the Government but rather a legal
victory as the court upheld the
independence of the PSC.
Al-Rawi also claimed the judgment
would not affect the recruitment
procedure that has already been
"I am able to report the process is
afoot and Cabinet has indeed
approved the necessary funds for the
retension of an appropriate firm," Al-
Defending the decision to introduce
the new provisions, Al-Rawi said such
was necessary at the time because
the then order controlling the process
was very convoluted.
"Because of its prescriptions, it saw
T&T acquiring the services of a foreign
entity, Penn State University, which
cost millions of dollars and many
years later we have achieved
absolutely nothing," Al-Rawi said.
Stating that he was yet to full
analyse the judgment, Al-Rawi said on
his perusal of the judgment he felt
that the main issues which
Government sought to address
Pupils of the Princes Town Methodist School during their performance in the spiritual song category of
the Prime Minister Best Village Competition at the Naparima Bowl, San Fernando, on Wednesday night.
PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
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