AG says naming the President in Police Service Commission case is unlawful
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall, SC, has filed an Application in the High Court on behalf of President Irfaan Ali for him to be stuck out as a named respondent in a constitutional action filed by the Police Service Commission (PSC) because the president is immune from prosecution.
Nandlall contends that the joining of the President in the proceedings is contrary to Article 182 (1) of the Constitution and Section 10 of the State Liability and Proceedings Act, Chapter 6:05.
He said, as such, the naming of the President as a respondent is unlawful, improper and contrary to the clear directive of Guyana’s supreme law.
Nandlall wants the Court to grant an order, removing the President forthwith as a party to those proceedings.
According to 89 of the Constitution, all actions brought against the President in his capacity as Head of State should only name the Attorney General.
The President has immunity under article 182 of the Constitution.
According to Nandlall, the law is clear that no action, whether criminal or civil, shall be instituted against the President while he holds the office of Head of State.
Nandlall said he is capable of defending and answering to the Court on the President’s behalf.
The suspended Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) Paul Slowe along with the other suspended members had 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no force or effect, a rejection that Nandlall has countered while insisting that the President’s decision can only be withdrawn by him or revoked by a Court.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.