File photo: Inshan Ishmael –
VALSAYN South businessman Inshan Ishmael has received the green light from the court to pursue his judicial review claim against the Commissioner of Police for allegedly failing to provide information on police payments to private garages.
In July 2022, Ishmael, whose company provided repair services for police vehicles, 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, Richard Jaggasar, 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 claim, Ishmael is 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.
Justice Carol Gobin has been assigned the case, and on Thursday, extended the time for Ishmael’s attorney to serve his claim on the commissioner, since an administrative error led to his not knowing he had been granted leave to pursue the matter since January, and time for serving would have been expended.
She also encouraged attorneys for the police to engage in discussions with the other side with a view to arriving at an agreement.
The matter will come up for a hearing again on March 20.