[UPDATED] Ramesar in no rush for new injunction over top cop selection

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Supt Anand Ramesar.

WITH the collapse of the Police Service Commission (PSC), acting senior Supt Anand Ramesar is in no rush to have extended a temporary injunction preventing the commission from continuing the recruitment and selection process for a Commissioner of Police.

On September 10, Justice Nadia Kangaloo granted a limited stay to Ramesar, who is challenging the selection process the PSC used. The injunction expired on Thursday, but attorneys for the top cop applicant said with no commission in place, there was no rush to have it extended.

Attorney Kiel Tacklalsingh, one of Ramesar’s attorneys, told Newsday their position was that there was “no need to injunct something that does not exist in law.

“If a PSC is appointed then we will have to reconsider.”

Ramesar’s substantive lawsuit is being heard by Justice Joan Charles, who granted him permission to challenge the PSC’s selection process after he failed to advance to the interview stage. He is challenging the commission’s failure to provide him with reasons.

Charles is expected to give her decision on January 28.

Kangaloo, who was the emergency judge who dealt with Ramesar’s application for injunction, acknowledged that her limited stay did not extend to meet the delivery of Charles’s decision, but took into account that the evidence in the main claim would be completed before the stay expired.

Although she stayed the recruitment and selection process for the appointment, Kangaloo allowed the PSC to continue with the security and professional vetting of the candidates selected for assessment.

The list of candidates has now been embroiled in controversy after it was revealed that it was delivered to the President, in accordance with the Constitution, which sets out the procedure for selecting a commissioner and deputy commissioner, on August 11, but was withdrawn that same day.

In a paid advertisement in the three daily newspapers on September 17, President Paula-Mae Weekes broke her silence on the controversy on the submission of the list.

The President’s statement has been described as lacking particulars by many commentators, who have since asked her to provide a more detailed explanation. One of them is former independent senator Martin Daly, SC, who said he believed the President’s explanation revealed the Constitution had been breached.

He also told Newsday it was not open to her, once the merit list was delivered, to participate or acquiesce in its withdrawal.

Former police commissioner Gary Griffith had called on the president to send the list to the House of Representatives for debate and selection of a commissioner and deputy commissioners.

The PSC collapsed after all its members resigned, accusing then chairman Bliss Seepersad of not consulting with them before suspending Griffith as acting commissioner.

The suspension came after the PSC ordered an investigation into allegations of impropriety in the issuing of firearm user’s licences (FUL).

Seepersad was the last to resign.

Since then, President Weekes has nominated five people for consideration for appointment to the PSC.

Previously, former Justice of Appeal Judith Jones; leadership consultant and management accountant Maxine Attong; head of Wealth Management, Firstline Securities Ltd Maxing King; and criminologist and academic head of the Caribbean Institute for Security and Public Safety Ian Ramdhanie had been nominated and their names sent to Parliament. On Friday, the Office of the President said the notification of the fifth nominee – attorney Rajiv Persad – was sent to the Clerk of the House.

The PSC is a five-member committee with responsibility for the police commissioner and the three deputy commissioners.

One of the President’s previous nominees was Ernest Koylass, SC, but the Opposition objected to his nomination, claiming he publicly supported the PNM in the past.

In a recent interview, Leader of Government Business Camille Robinson-Regis said the House of Representatives was waiting to debate the five nominations from the President and all five will be dealt with together.

She said the debate date would depend on when all the notifications arrive and will be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.

The selection of an acting top cop also remains in abeyance because of the absence of a PSC, as Kangaloo has since decided that process must also involve a list being submitted to the President to be sent to the Lower House for debate and selection.

Deputy Commissioner McDonald Jacob is currently the accounting officer for the police service.

This story has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.

Ramesar in no rush for new injunction over top cop selection process

WITH the collapse of the Police Service Commission (PSC), acting senior Supt Anand Ramesar is in no rush to have extended a temporary injunction preventing the commission from continuing the recruitment and selection process for a Commissioner of Police.

On September 10, Justice Nadia Kangaloo granted a limited stay to Ramesar, who is challenging the selection process the PSC used. The injunction expired on Thursday, but attorneys for the top cop applicant say with no commission in place, there was no rush, at this time, to have it extended.

Attorney Kiel Tacklalsingh, one of Ramesar’s attorneys, told Newsday their position was that there was “no need to injunct something that does not exist in law.

“If a PSC is appointed then we will have to reconsider.”

Ramesar’s substantive lawsuit is being heard by Justice Joan Charles, who granted him permission to challenge the PSC’s selection process after he failed to advance to the interview stage. He is challenging the commission’s failure to provide him with reasons.

Charles is expected to give her decision on January 28.

Kangaloo, who was the emergency judge who dealt with Ramesar’s application for injunction, acknowledged that her limited stay did not extend to meet the delivery of Charles’s decision, but took into account that the evidence in the main claim would be completed before the stay expired.

Although she stayed the recruitment and selection process for the appointment, Kangaloo allowed the PSC to continue with the security and professional vetting of the candidates selected for assessment.

The list of candidates has now been embroiled in controversy after it was revealed that it was delivered to the President, in accordance with the Constitution, which sets out the procedure for selecting a commissioner and deputy commissioner, on August 11, but was withdrawn that same day.

In a paid advertisement in the three daily newspapers on September 17, President Paula-Mae Weekes broke her silence on the controversy on the submission of the list.

The President’s statement has been described as lacking particulars by many commentators, who have since asked her to provide a more detailed explanation. One of them is former independent senator Martin Daly, SC, who said he believed the President’s explanation revealed the Constitution had been breached.

He also told Newsday it was not open to her, once the merit list was delivered, to participate or acquiesce in its withdrawal.

Former police commissioner Gary Griffith had called on the president to send the list to the House of Representatives for debate and selection of a commissioner and deputy commissioners.

The PSC collapsed after all its members resigned, accusing then chairman Bliss Seepersad of not consulting with them before suspending Griffith as acting commissioner.

The suspension came after the PSC ordered an investigation into allegations of impropriety in the issuing of firearm user’s licences (FUL).

Seepersad was the last to resign.

Since then, President Weekes has nominated four people for consideration for appointment to the PSC.

So far, former Justice of Appeal Judith Jones; leadership consultant and management accountant Maxine Attong; head of Wealth Management, Firstline Securities Ltd Maxing King; and criminologist and academic head of the Caribbean Institute for Security and Public Safety Ian Ramdhanie have been nominated and their names sent to Parliament.

The PSC is a five-member committee with responsibility for the police commissioner and the three deputy commissioners.

The President suggested a fifth person, Ernest Koylass, SC, but the Opposition objected to his nomination, claiming he publicly supported the PNM in the past.

In a recent interview, Leader of Government Business Camille Robinson-Regis said the House of Representatives was waiting to debate the five nominations from the President and all five will be dealt with together.

She said the debate date would depend on when all the notifications arrive and will be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.

The selection of an acting top cop also remains in abeyance because of the absence of a PSC, as Kangaloo has since decided that process must also involve a list being submitted to the President to be sent to the Lower House for debate and selection.

Deputy Commissioner McDonald Jacob is currently the accounting officer for the police service.