Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 17th 2017 Contents news A11
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Ramadhar appeal goes to Privy Council
Former Congress of the People
(COP) political leader Prakash Ram-
adhar has been given the green
light for a inal appeal against the
decision of a High Court judge
who ordered him to pay $255,000
in compensation to his estranged
brother and two other COP mem-
bers for defamation.
Appellate Judges Allan Men-
donca, Judith Jones and Peter Raj-
kumar yesterday granted Ramadhar
leave to appeal to the United King-
dom-based Privy Council.
The judges ruled that Ramadhar's
brother Kishore and COP members
Rudolph Hanamji and Satu-Ann
Ramcharan would not be preju-
diced by the inal appeal.
As part of their ruling, the court
ordered that the sum of money
Ramadhar paid to the court after
losing the lawsuit in 2015 would be
held as security, pending the out-
come of the appeal.
The lawsuit arose out of a contro-
versy in October 2013 in which the
trio was accused of sending a letter
with information about the COP's
membership to the then Opposition
People's National Movement (PNM).
The letter stated that three other
members who contested the last
Local Government elections were
not members of the COP, as legally
The PNM subsequently wrote to
the Elections and Boundaries Com-
mission (EBC) challenging the mem-
bership of the candidates.
The three, who were suspended
from the party's national execu-
tive and national council, denied
any wrongdoing and claimed their
signatures had been forged on the
Ramadhar, former COP chair-
man Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan
and founding party member Iqbal
Hydal, were all accused of making
defamatory statements on the issue
at a COP National Council meeting
on November 10, 2013.
In his judgement in the case, High
Court Judge Vasheist Kokaram said
statements against the trio went be-
yond the boundaries of responsible
speech as they were based on erro-
Ramadhar was ordered to pay
$255,000 in damages, while Seep-
ersad-Bachan and Hydal had to pay
$200,000 and $70,000, respec-
Ramadhar was the only of the
three to appeal Kokaram's decision.
In July, the Appeal Court dis-
missed Ramadhar's appeal as it
ruled that it could ind no fault with
Ramadhar is being represented
by Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC.
Court denies Partap's
request to appeal
Former government minister
Collin Partap permission to chal-
lenge its dismissal of his appeal
against conviction for failing to
submit to a breathalyser test in
In an oral judgement on Partap's
application for leave to appeal to
the Privy Council, Appellate Judges
Allan Mendonca, Judith Jones and
Peter Rajkumar ruled that his attor-
neys had raised fresh constitutional
issues over his conviction. The
judges saidhe was only allowed to
challenge their interpretation of the
law in his case and not raise issues
for the irst time.
Police arrested Partap outside
the Zen Nightclub at Keate Street in
Port-of-Spain on August 26, 2012.
They initially stopped Partap's ve-
hicle after they noticed that it had
flashing blue lights used by of icial
They asked him to submit to a
breathalyser test after they smelt
alcohol on his breath and found a
opened bottle of Johnnie Walker
whisky in the vehicle.
Partap repeatedly refused to sub-
mit to the test and asked to speak
to acting Police Commissioner Ste-
phen Williams and his attorney. He
was taken to the Belmont Police Sta-
tion where he eventually agreed to a
breathalyser test and passed.
Partap, the then minister in the
ministry of national security, was
ired from Cabinet by then prime
minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar,
hours after he was charged.
In July 2013, Ayers-Caesar found
Partap guilty of the offence and
ined him $5,000.
The main ground proffered by
Partap in his appeal, was that he
was not required to submit to the
breathalyser test as the police of-
icers had asked him repeatedly to
do a ield sobriety test.
The Appeal Court rejected this
argument in June and ruled that the
terms were interchangeable.
"A request for a person to submit
to a ield sobriety test is the same
as a request for a breath test, they
being one and the same under the
Act," the judges said.
Partap was represented by Ravi
Rajcoomar, while Assistant Director
of Public Prosecutions (DPP) George
Busby represented the State.
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