‘Red House’ remains as Chief Justice rules in favour of Cheddi Jagan Research Centre
Chief Justice Roxane George has ruled in favour of the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre (CJRC) over its occupancy of ‘Red House.’
On December 29, 2016, then President David Granger had ordered that the lease for ‘Red House’ be revoked and for the CJRC to vacate the property before the end of that year.
However, Attorney Anil Nandlall – who now serves as the country’s AG and Minister of Legal Affairs – filed proceedings challenging the revocation of the lease and the eviction.
The former AG Basil Williams, serving as the chief legal representative of the Government at that time, appeared for the Respondents, which included the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC).
But the day before the Centre was expected to vacate the building, the then Chief Justice (ag) Yonette Cummings-Edwards ordered a preservation of the status quo and allowed for the occupation of the building until the case was heard and determined.
Submissions were made in 2018, and since then a ruling has been pending.
On Friday last, Justice George ruled in favour of the applicants.
The Court said that it accepted the word of former President Donald Ramotar that the lease was granted by him; as such it could not be revoked by Ramotar’s successor, former President David Granger, without cause.
“…the Lease was not properly revoked by President David Granger and could only have been revoked for cause. There was no evidence as to the breach of the Lease by the Lessee,” the court held.
The Court also issued a permanent conservatory order against the Defendants not to remove items from the CJRC unless compensation is made, while costs against the Respondents were awarded in the sum of $150,000.