Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 7th 2017 Contents A4 news
guardian.co.tt Friday, April 7, 2017
Public servant wins lawsuit over promotion...
Judge: PSC's treatment had discriminatory effect
The Court of Appeal
has ruled that a senior
public servant, who was
bypassed for promotion
four times in the space of
two years. was unfairly
treatedby the PublicSer-
vice Commission (PSC).
In a 51-page judgement
delivered yesterday, Appeal
Courtjudge Prakash Moosai
ruled that Audine Mootoo
was entitled to damages for
loss of earnings, distress
and inconvenience as her
constitutional rights to
equality of treatment from
the PSC was breached.
Moosai did not decide
the compensation she
should receive as it is to
be determined by a High
Court Master. The court
was unable to order the
PSC to reconsider Mootoo's
applications for promotions
as she is now approaching
retirement after waiting al-
most a decade for the case
to be determined.
In his judgement, Moosai
ruled that the PSC's treat-
ment of Mootoo had a cu-
effect as it was not related
to a single post but a series
of acting appointments she
applied for between August
2004 and March 2006.
"Its effect thereof smacks
of unfairness and arbitrari-
ness and constitutes prima
facie evidence of unequal
treatment contrary to sec-
tion 4(d) of the Constitu-
tion. "Even more startling
is the fact that she was by-
passed for consideration for
the post in her own area of
Moosai noted. He also stat-
ed that the PSC had failed
to sufficiently justify its
handling of Mootoo's case.
"It is manifest that at
every turn when the va-
cancies arose, Mootoo
clamoured for transparent,
equitable and consistent
the cumulative effect of
the treatment meted out to
her was arbitrary,inconsist-
ent and discriminatory and
necessitated resort to litiga-
tion to obtain relief," Moo-
sai said. Appellate Judges
Alice Yorke-Soo Hon and
Rajendra Narin also sat on
the appeal and agreed with
In 2007, Mootoo, who
worked at the Ministry of
Agriculture for her entire
career, filed the lawsuits
after she was bypassed for
promotions for four man-
The four positions are
Deputy Director, Extension
Training and Information
Services; Technical Officer
(Horticulture) in the same
ministry; Deputy Director,
Agricultural Services Di-
vision (Crop Production);
and Acting Director Hor-
ticultural Services in the
Ministry of Public Utilities.
Mootoo, who was a Bio-
chemist II in the Ministry
of Agriculture, when the
lawsuit was filed, claimed
that in one of the positions
full consideration was given
to another officer while in
another the PSC wrongly
held that she was ineligible
for promotion despite her
seniority. She also said that
on the two other occasions
she was told that PSC failed
to consider her as it never
received her applications.
Mootoo's lawsuit was in-
itially dismissed by a High
Court Judge, forcing her to
Mootoo was represent-
ed by Anand Ramlogan,
SC, and Gerald Ramdeen,
while Russell Martineau,
SC, represented the PSC.
The Office of the Attorney
General was represented by
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