Businessman Inshan Ishmael. –
THE Commissioner of Police has agreed to furnish businessman Inshan Ishmael with documents and information relating to the amount of money the police service paid to private garages to have its vehicles repaired.
In February, Ishmael received the court’s permission to file a judicial review claim against the commissioner.
On Monday, when the matter came up for hearing before Justice Carol Gobin, attorneys for the commissioner indicated having reviewed the application for information, it was “not adverse to providing” what was asked for but they needed time to collate the information.
Attorney Tsonda Gayle, who represents the police, asked for April 24 to provide the information.
Ishmael’s attorney Richard Jaggasar sid while his client had no difficulty with agreeing to that date, he said it was very close to the limitation period in another matter his client intends to file.
Jaggasar reminded that the request for the documents were made back in 2022, and there was no response to Ishmael’s pre-action protocol letter.
He said the documents requests were “crucial” to the other matter and already two extensions had been previously sought by the police.
“They could have responded to the pre-action,” he said.
The other lawsuit referred to involves a breach of contract claim.
In his judicial review application, Ishmael complained of the commissioner’s failure or refusal to provide information to him regarding how much money the police service paid to private garages to have its vehicles repaired.
In July 2022, Ishmael, whose company provided repair services for police vehicles in the past, filed a freedom-of-information request for a breakdown of payments to all private service and repair garages from January 2019-July 2022; a complete list of garages the police used for that period; when contracts began; and the cost of outfitting a new vehicle with decals, sirens, lights, cameras and communication equipment.
After his initial request, he sent a follow-up letter to the police signalling his intention to approach the court if he failed to receive the documents which he said ought to have been readily available to the commissioner.
In one response, Ishmael said his attorney was told the police did not see his FOI request and needed time to make a decision.
Months passed and the police repeatedly sought extensions but the businessman said he has not received the documents or a response to his request.
In his lawsuit, Ishmael was seeking several orders and declarations that the commissioner’s continual failure to make a decision on the request was unlawful and in breach of the law, as well as an order for him to be provided with the documents.
On Wednesday, while she declined to make an order for exemplary costs, Gobin directed the commissioner to pay Ishmael’s costs for bringing the application in the sum of $7,500.