Nandlall appeals dismissal of defamation case against AG
Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall has filed an appeal against the dismissal of a defamation case he had brought against his successor, Basil Williams.
High Court Judge Priya Sewnarine-Beharry had dismissed the $125M million lawsuit which was filed against Williams for defamation of character in relation to the Commonwealth Law Reports which he had accused Nandlall of stealing.
The case was struck out after Nandlall failed to submit certain documents in accordance with the stipulated time. According to the appeal documents seen by News Room however, Nandlall is claiming that the Judge “erred and misdirected herself in law” when she dismissed the proceedings.
Nandlall advanced the argument that the lawfulness of the exercise of the Judge’s discretion is compounded and exacerbated by the fact that this was the first instance of non-compliance by him with timelines stipulated by the Court. He contended too that the Judge “failed or refused” to take into account that he had already prepared all the requisite documents and therefore same could have been filed and served upon the other side the very day, were leave granted by the Court to do so.
“The decision of the Learned Hearing Judge in dismissing the Appellant’s/Claimant’s Proceeding is erroneous, unlawful, oppressive , contrary to the rules of natural justice and violative of Article 144 (8) of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, illegal, null, void and of no effect and bad in law,” he asserted in the documents.
Nandlall was seeking damages in excess of $25M for slander published on March 24, 2017, at a press conference hosted at the National Communication Network Inc.; damages in excess of $25M for libel published on the same day; damages in excess of $25M for libel published in the Guyana Times Newspaper, at page 11, March 25th, 2017; damages in excess of $25M for slander published during an outreach program in Berbice, on the 26th March, 2017; damages in excess $25M for libel published by DemeraraWaves on the 27th day of March, 2017; exemplary/aggravated damages and interest on all damages awarded pursuant to Section 12 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act Chap 6:02.
During the aforementioned press conference, Williams had claimed that Nandlall stole the law books right before demitting Office – a claim which Nandlall has denied. Nandlall had explained that the law books are his, as they were purchased for him by the State as part of his terms of employment.