Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 30th 2017 Contents However, he claimed that he did not authorise
the interviews or the incorrect statements made by
his staff during the television programmes.
Maharaj filed the lawsuit after the Ministry of
Finance issued press releases requiring citizens to
submit their forms by May 22.
Even though Finance Minister Colm Imbert ex-
tended the submission deadline to June 5, Maharaj
went to court and obtained an injunction effectively
stopping the collection drive on May 19.
There was some confusion after the injunction
was granted as signs were placed on the Ramoutar's
offices announcing the suspension of the exercise,
while Imbert encouraged property owners to con-
tinue the submission of their forms.
The injunction was eventually discharged by the
Court of Appeal, which ruled that it was unnec-
essary after State conceded that the process was
voluntary. Due to the uncertainty over the process,
the Appeal Court had also ordered that Ramoutar's
office post a series of public notices in daily news-
papers highlighting that the process was resumed
and that it was completely voluntary.
Ramoutar's application is expected to be consid-
ered when substantive lawsuit comes up for hearing
before Justice Frank Seepersad on September 19.
Friday, June 30, 2017 guardian.co.tt Commissioner of Valuations seeks to strike out lawsuit
about property tax
The acting Commissioner of
Valuations is attempting to have
a lawsuit dismissed, which was
brought against his office chal-
lenging its collection of Valuation
Return Forms required for calcu-
lation of property tax.
In an application filed in the San
Fernando High Court, last week,
Baldeo Ramoutar is claiming that
the lawsuit, brought by former gov-
ernment minister Devant Maharaj in
May challenging the requirement that
property owners submit their forms,
was irrelevant as the process was al-
In his eight-page affidavit filed in
support of the application, Ramoutar
stated his office did not exercise any
mandatory or coercive power in the
process, and as such Maharaj could not
prove that his rights or those of other
property owners were being infringed
as claimed in his lawsuit.
Ramoutar also denied Maharaj's al-
legation that a request for property
owners to supply relevant documents
such as building plans and certificates
was an invasion of citizens' privacy
as his office would have been able to
access the information if it had not
been supplied willingly.
Ramoutar admitted that members
of his staff went on television pro-
grammes during the collection drive
and misinformed property owners
that they would face a fine in the
event that they fail to participate in
Driver in taxi
Two police officers involved in a shooting incident in
which PH driver Barry Seepersad was injured and
charged, on Wednesday appeared in court on private
criminal charges arising from the same incident.
WPC Frances Benjamin and PC Shiva Ramnarine ap-
peared via summons before Magistrate Lisa Singh-Phil-
lip in the San Fernando Court at the Madinah Building
on charges brought by Seepersad.
They both pleaded not guilty to assaulting Seeper-
sad by beating him. Benjamin alone was also charged
with maliciously damaging Seepersad's vehicle, his
glasses, a jeans and a jersey and shooting at Seepersad
with intent to do him grievous bodily harm. The officer,
however, was not called upon to plead to those charges.
The charges stemmed from an incident on May 24
at Coffee Street, San Fernando, where Seepersad was
shot on the Diamond taxi stand and underwent surgery.
Seepersad was charged by Cpl Mohammed with five
offences arising out of that incident and appeared in
court on June 2. In court, his attorney Alvin Pariags-
ingh made an application for the cross charges to be
transferred to the San Fernando First Magistrates
Court to meet the connecting matter against Seep-
The magistrate granted the request and adjourned
the matter to July 7.
On that day, Seepersad has to reappear in that court
on charges that he, being a person in charge of a motor
vehicle, by furious driving, attempted to cause bodily
harm to officers Benjamin and Ramnarine. It was fur-
ther alleged that he assaulted Ramnarine and Benjamin
in the execution of their duties and parked a motor
vehicle on the taxi stand. He is out on $50,000 bail.
FLASHBACK: Members of the public line up at the ministry of finance's valuation division at Palms
Club San Fernando in May to submit their Valuation Return Forms. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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