File photo: Jayanti Lutchmedial
ATTORNEY Jayanti Lutchmedial has said the new Police Service Commission (PSC) should give some details of the reasoning behind its decision to scrap the Commissioner of Police (CoP) merit list compiled by the previous PSC.
She spoke to Newsday on Friday in her personal capacity, not as a UNC senator.
On Thursday, the PSC said in a statement that its new members, who were appointed on November 16, 2021, had decided to take no further action on the 2021 selection process for a COP, but will “commence a new selection process in accordance with the process and procedures outlined in the applicable law currently enacted.”
Lutchmedial said, “There are questions surrounding the withdrawal of the merit list, and it would be in the public interest, perhaps, for them to give some more details as to why they have decided to start over the process and disregard the old merit list.
“They mentioned in their release that they had received legal advice. Perhaps it would be in the public interest for them to disclose the advice, to explain the basis, because the public still does not have clarification as to what was the basis for the list from when it was submitted to the President initially, and if the list was flawed.”
She said the withdrawal could have affected people’s rights.
Newsday asked about former CoP Gary Griffith, as a nominee on the old list, saying the withdrawal undermined his legitimate expectation to be considered for the post, after he had gone through all the tests and procedures.
Lutchmedial replied, “Yes, of course. Once you go through an entire process, generally speaking, all persons who would have been listed – remember, it’s a merit list, where you rank people – may have an expectation that the commission would use the list.
“So if the list, having been submitted to the President, was withdrawn, the persons who appear on that list – Mr Griffith and others – may very well have had a legitimate expectation that the list would be used.
“So if you are now basically saying the list cannot be used, I’m saying more detail and more justification for scrapping the list and not using it ought to be provided to the public on the whole, because it is a public-interest matter as well as affecting the private rights of the citizens whose names appeared on the list.
“There’s a lot of public interest, and it is a matter that really engaged the attention of the country with respect to the propriety of the list being withdrawn and what was the basis.
SInce those questions remained unanswered, andno real explanation had been given, she said, the new PSC should provide “a little more clarification.”