Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 5th 2013 Contents A16
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, December 5, 2013
The Appeal Court has reserved
its judgment in an appeal brought
by former board members of the
Evolving Technologies and Enter-
prise Development Company
(eTeck), challenging a judge s deci-
sion to allow the company to pursue
a $30 million lawsuit against them,
even though it was filed after the
four-year statutory limitation peri-
od.Lawyers representing the company
and the former board members on
Monday presented submissions in
the procedural appeal before appellate
judges Nolan Bereaux and Maureen
Rajnauth-Lee, who then postponed
their judgment to a date to be set.
The board members are seeking to
reverse the decision of Justice Devin-
dra Rampersad, who ruled against
them on October 28.
In his 22-page ruling, Rampersad
agreed with the company s contention
that it only found the alleged breaches
by the former board after the change
in government in 2010, while saying
it would be "highly unlikely and most
improbable" for the breaches to be
In the substantive lawsuit, filed in
2011, the company alleges its former
board members entered into a $30
million agreement with a Chinese-
based company, Bamboo Network
Ltd, between January 18 and May 17,
2005, without carrying out a due dili-
gence exercise into the company s
financial records beforehand.
The directors being sued for breach
of fiduciary duties and negligence are
former chairman Prof Ken Julien and
board members Ulric Mc Nicol, Brian
Copeland, Rene Monteil, Eugene Tiah,
Sonia Noel, Wendy Fitzwilliam and
John Soo Ping Chow.
In March last year, the directors
filed an application to have the lawsuit
struck out, saying it was an abuse of
process as it was statute-barred under
the Limitations of Certain Actions
In defence of the claim, the State
relied on Section 14 of the legislation,
which postpones the limitation period
when facts have been deliberately
concealed. Rampersad initially rejected
the preliminary application, saying
it could be dealt with in the substan-
The directors appealed and in
December the Appeal Court reverted
the issue to Rampersad for his con-
sideration, with his ruling on the issue
being delivered in late October.
The company is being represented
by Queen s Counsel Vincent Nelson,
Israel Khan, SC, and attorneys Gerald
Ramdeen and Varun Debideen.
The directors legal team includes
John Jeremie, SC, and attorneys
Michael Quamina, Stuart Young, Ker-
win Garcia and Stephen Singh.
Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh had
to defend his ministry over claims that some
rural schools were forced to shut down because
of a lack of water during the dry season.
His statement came after three primary school
principals welcomed the idea of an intiative to
use rain water to supplement the water supply.
They were speaking at a dedication ceremony
hosted by Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd at
Hilton Trinidad, St Ann s, Port-of-Spain, for its
Rainwater Harvesting in Schools project.
The company sponsored the National Institute
of Higher Education, Research, Science and Tech-
nology (Niherst) in setting up water collection
systems in three rural schools.
"Many schools in T&T are forced to function
without a regular supply of water to satisfy their
population s basic needs," according the company s
project s overview.
Derick Sooknanan, principal of Fishing Pond
Presbyterian school---one of the schools in the
programme---said: "I believe that it is the plight
experienced by most schools that are located in
rural districts, where during the dry season, their
water reserves are severely depleted, forcing them
to dismiss early, and even to suspend the classes
for a few days until their water reserves are replen-
He said schools in urban districts had been
proven to achieve higher success rates than most
schools in rural districts and attributed the poor
performance of rural schools to the loss of quality
teaching time, each time they had to dismiss
school early or tell their students to stay home
because of water shortages.
The other two schools in the project are Toco
Anglican Primary School and Mayo RC Primary
But in response, Gopeesingh said: "Let me cor-
rect a statement that is being perpetually made
this morning. There is no school in T&T that
does not have a water system... Water tanks and
pumps are provided for every school in T&T," he
Gopeesingh told his audience, which included
children from the three schools, about his gov-
ernment s accomplishments in improving water
supplies throughout the country.
"Today, we can boast as a government that we
have 52 per cent of the country receiving water
seven days a week, 24 hours a day," he said.
"Seventy per cent of the country is receiving
water five days a week," he added.
Gopeesingh made sure to express appreciation
for the gas company s initiative in augmenting
the water supply for these schools and admitted
that there would be times when there could be
a scarcity of water.
"But not at all times," he maintained.
water woes shutting
down rural schools
Judgment reserved in $30m eTeck appeal
Links Archive December 4th 2013 December 6th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page