Suspended PSC files constitutional action against President, Top Cop and others

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The suspended Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Paul Slowe, along with the other suspended members, on Tuesday filed legal proceedings in the High Court against President Irfaan Ali, Prime Minister Brigadier (retired) Mark Phillips, Police Commissioner (ag) Nigel Hoppie and Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC.

The fixed date application, also against the Secretary of the PSC, was filed by attorneys Selwyn Pieters, Dexter Todd and Dexter Smartt on behalf of the PSC.

In the application, the PSC wants a declaration that the suspension of the Chairman and members of the PSC by President Ali was contrary to and in violation of the Constitution of Guyana, in particular articles 225 (6) and 210 (3).

The PSC was suspended by President Ali on the June 16, 2021.

Slowe has maintained since then that the suspension has no force or effect, a rejection that Nandlall has countered while insisting that the President’s decision can only be withdrawn by him or revoked by a Court.

The application urges the Court to declare that the Prime Minister’s advice to the President to suspend the PSC was unlawful and that the Chairman and members remain competent and responsible to carry out its functions.

In relation to a 2020 police promotion list, which was released by the PSC on June 28, 2021, the PSC has also asked the Court to mandate that the Secretary to prepare formal letters to the promoted ranks and a government order giving effect to the promotions be prepared.

The Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George, on June 28, threw out a challenge to the same list by other senior police officers The Police Commissioner and the government have refused to acknowledge the promotion list.

The PSC also wants the Court to ask the Police Commissioner to cause a special promotion order to be prepared and for him to instruct the quartermaster to issue the newly promoted ranks with their respective badges.

The life of the Police Service Commission comes to an end in August 2021.

Nandlall, in recent comments to the News Room, reminded that Slowe and the entire PSC were suspended by President Irfaan Ali.

“That decision stands until and unless it is withdrawn or revoked,” the Attorney General explained.

Nandlall said, “So whatever request Slowe has made… he has no authority to instruct the Police Commissioner.”

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