Police promotion court case further put off as parties fail to reach amicable solution
Despite efforts to explore a possible resolution to the challenge against the Police Service Commission’s 2020 promotion of police officers outside the ongoing judicial process, the court was told on Friday that no progress has been made.
When the matter came up before Chief Justice (ag), Roxane George, SC, on Friday, Deputy Solicitor General, Deborah Kumar told the court that the parties were unable to resolve the matter despite Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, SC, indicating the willingness of the Commission’s Chairman, Assistant Police Commissioner (ret’d), Paul Slowe to facilitate this.
“In the circumstances, I would like to make an application for leave to file an affidavit in defense within 21 days,” Kumar said.
The CJ has adjourned the matter until April 9, 2021 at 10:00h for clarification and directions and has given several timelines to serve and file affidavits in the matter.
Justice George said in the meantime, the status quo of the Guyana Police Force should remain as it is until the matter is fully heard, ventilated and a ruling is handed down.
On the last two occasions, Nandlall had asked for an adjournment to allow him to explore the possibility of amicably resolving the matter between the PSC, the aggrieved and affected parties and the Attorney General’s Chambers.
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.
Brutus complained of being jilted and protested that the PSC is using a “trivial’ pending matter of “breach of discipline” to deny his promotion to Assistant Commissioner. The senior cop is of the view that this practice of not promoting persons, who have disciplinary matters against them, perpetuates a permanent injustice against him and others who are slated for promotions.
In his application to the High Court, Brutus asked 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 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 contended 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.