Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 30th 2013 Contents A11
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal
by the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS)
challenging the amount of compensation it
received in its radio licence case.
The Maha Sabha and its affiliate company, Cen-
tral Broadcasting Services Ltd, brought the appeal
after they were awarded a little under $2 million
in substantive damages for Government's discrim-
ination in granting the licence in September 2009.
Justice Rajendra Narine, in a 21-page judgment
delivered yesterday, said he could find no fault with
the initial assessment. Appellate judges Gregory
Smith and Maureen Rajnauth-Lee also sat on the
The Maha Sabha first applied for a radio licence
in September 2000. The application met all the
necessary criteria and was not opposed by the
The organisation led evidence that two years
after it applied, it learned that another company,
Citadel Ltd, had been granted a licence, even though
the Maha Sabha's application preceded it.
The group filed a constitutional motion alleging
it had been the victim of discrimination by the
In a judgment on February 5, 2004, Justice Carlton
Best ruled there was unequal treatment in Central
Broadcasting Services' application in relation to
The matter was appealed and the Court of Appeal
also found there was unequal treatment.
The Maha Sabha sought further redress at the
Privy Council. On July 4, 2006, the Law Lords
ruled that the State had discriminated against the
Maha Sabha and its constitutional right to freedom
of expression had been violated.
The Privy Council ordered the State to pay dam-
ages for loss of earnings and to grant the licence
to the Maha Sabha forthwith but the Maha Sabha
was not awarded the licence until September 22
The damages were assessed by Justice Ronnie
Boodoosingh, who awarded the Maha Sabha
$952,890 in compensatory damages and $500,000
in vindicatory damages, plus interest and incidentals.
In this appeal, the Appeal Court was asked to
determine whether Boodoosingh's assessment was
"inordinately low or high."
The Maha Sabha claimed Boodoosingh erred in
law when he calculated the damages for loss of
earnings between 2002 and 2006, using a base
figure of the radio station's profit for its first year
of operation, and when he replaced the station's
projected growth rates with more conservative esti-
The Appeal Court rejected both submissions.
A voter in the Chaguanas
West constituency was knocked
down by a vehicle at around 9
am yesterday, the day of the
Chaguanas West by-election.
Primnath Rampaul, 56, of
Cacandee Road, suffered a broken
leg when he was hit by a black
SUV near his Felicity, Chaguanas,
home as he was going to vote at
the Felicity Presbyterian School.
According to reports, Rampaul,
also known as "Leggins", fell as
he was struck. The vehicle did
not stop but drove to a dead end
across the Southern Main Road
and emerged minutes later and
was intercepted by police. The
driver did not get out but was
eventually stopped on Greenidge
Street, Felicity. He returned
moments later and was ques-
tioned by police.
Rampaul remained bleeding
on the road for close to an hour
before two ambulances arrived
around the same time, one from
the national ambulance service
and one from the a private serv-
ice.Independent Liberal Party (ILP)
interim political leader, Jack
Warner, who is a candidate in
the Chaguanas West by-election,
arrived with the private ambu-
lance. Rampaul was taken for
medical attention in the public
Warner said: "The blood that
was shed this morning by his
drivers will not go unpaid. Win,
lose or draw, come what may,
that blood this morning will not
The SUV that struck Rampaul
is part of the security detail of
Attorney General Anand Ram-
logan, who was not in the vehicle
at the time of the incident.
Minutes later, at the sub-
office in Chaguanas, Ramlogan
said Ishmael had been pursuing
his security detail in the area and
his officers stopped and cau-
tioned him about following their
vehicle but Ishmael did not desist
and was "trying to run them off
Ramlogan said he was nowhere
around and was not in the car
at the time of the accident.
He said the incident was the
latest form of thuggery in the
constituency by "someone who
is disguised as a member of the
legitimate and mainstream
Ishmael was driving "in an
aggressive manner designed to
terrorise and intimidate even a
member of the security detail of
the Attorney General," he said.
His officers, he said, "handled
the matter professionally" and
should be complimented for it.
Saying he hoped Ishmael "will
be held culpable," the AG said
the matter was a legal one to be
determined by the courts.
Nevertheless, he said Ishmael's
"reckless and dangerous driving
in hot pursuit of an identified
security vehicle caused the acci-
dent and that is very clear,
adding: "He must not be pro-
tected or defended by the media."
What Ishmael said
In a press conference at 12.15
pm on the Islamic Broadcasting
Network (IBN), Ishmael had a
different story to tell. Responding
to Ramlogan's claim he was the
cause of the accident, he brought
forward video clips as evidence
that he was not to blame.
He said he was following the
black SUV along a back street in
Felicity when he noticed the vehi-
cle speeding up. He presented a
clip which showed he was some
distance behind the vehicle when
the Fortuner made a right turn.
Ishmael said when he turned,
he saw the vehicle hit a curb then
roll over a man's leg and heard
the sound of "crushing bones."
He came out of his vehicle and
proceeded to help the man who
was lying on the ground in pain.
The first clip showed a vehicle
driven by Food Production Min-
ister Devant Maharaj near Felicity,
while the second clip captured
the vehicle in which Ramlogan
was being transported parked in
front of a house near an open
field, with a maxi, which was
being used to transport voters,
The third clip showed a mem-
ber of Ramlogan's escort walking
away from Ishmael's vehicle after
questioning Ishmael about his
reason for following the Attorney
The fourth clip showed Ish-
mael following a Prado vehicle
at a distance, before the vehicle
left a trail of swirling dust, before
turning a corner.
The final clip showed a man
lying on the floor in pain, while
police officers and Ishmael stood
in the area. Ishmael said he had
witnessed the driver hit the man
and continued driving.
"If you hit a pothole in the
road, you feel it. How can you
hit a human being and not
know?" Ishmael questioned.
Ishmael also questioned Ram-
logan's version of events.
"There is a stark contrast
between the truth and a blatant
falsehood," he said.
Ishmael said he had not yet
given a statement to the police
because he was told by officers
that he should make copies of
his video recordings as well.
Maha Sabha's appeal
against radio licence
$$ thrown out
Man hit by 'AG's vehicle'
on his way to vote
Inshan Ishmael, chief executive of the Islamic Broadcasting
Network (IBN) speaks to reporters alongside attorney Anna
Deonarine Rampersad during a press conference at the IBN
Television Station at Bamboo #2 yesterday.
PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
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