Police promotions on hold as High Court hears complaints of discrimination


The Police Service Commission (PSC) will not be able to go ahead with its annual promotion of police ranks this year.

Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George on Thursday granted an Order which instructs that the current status quo in the Guyana Police Force remains as it is until the matter comes up again before her on January 12, 2021, at 10 am.

Senior Superintendent of Police Calvin Brutus had moved to the High Court to block the promotions of senior officers as he complained that the PSC was acting unlawfully and irrationally.

The matter came up before the Chief Justice for the first time on Thursday morning where she accepted a suggestion put forward by the Attorney General Senior Counsel Anil Nandlall.

It was Nandlall who asked for the mater to be put off until the second week in January 2021 and for the Police Service Commission to hold its hands in going ahead with the promotions.

Nandlall said this would give him time to understand what caused this “grave and serious break down between institutions.” He said he needed to get clear instructions from the Police Commissioner and the PSC but ultimately Nandlall intends to ask that the matter be withdrawn from the Court.

The Chief Justice, in granting the order, explained that it is not injunctive as she reiterated Nandlall’s point that “one doesn’t want to have discord in such an important institution as the Guyana Police Force.”

There are reportedly two other lawsuits filed in the High Court along with that of Brutus’.

Brutus himself complains of being jilted and protests that the PSC is using a “trivial’ pending matter of “breach of discipline” to deny his promotion to Assistant Commissioner.

He believes that this practice of not promoting persons who have disciplinary matters against them perpetuates a permanent injustice against him and others who are scheduled for promotions.

In his application to the High Court, Brutus is asking for a declaration that the policy of the PSC not to promote, or consider for promotion, ranks with pending disciplinary matters before it, is unlawful; a declaration that he is entitled to be promoted to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police; and an order cancelling the decision of the PSC denying his appointment to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police.

Additionally, Brutus has asked the Court to cancel the decision of the PSC to promote Edmond Cooper, Philip Azore and Kurleigh Simon, Senior Superintendents of Police to the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police and to compel the PSC to reconsider its decision not to promote him to Assistant Commissioner of Police.

Brutus contends that some of the ranks up for promotion also have disciplinary matters dated as far back as 2016.

His matter dates back to 2019 but he claims no progress has been made on conducting and concluding an investigation.

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