‘Not a scintilla of evidence’ – Chief Justice throws out GPSU’s challenge to Goolsarran’s nomination to PSC
Chief Justice (acting) Roxane George, SC, on Friday, threw out the action bought by the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) over the nomination of Mohandatt Goolsarran to the Public Service Commission (PSC).
in so doing, the CJ said that the case contained not a “scintilla of evidence, was unmeritorious, frivolous and vexatious.”
In dismissing the case, the Court awarded costs in the sum of $750,000 to be paid to Attorney General (AG) Anil Nandlall and Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir, who were both named respondents in the case.
The legal proceedings were filed on June 28, 2023 challenging the decision of the Standing Committee on the appointments of the National Assembly to consider nominations from the Public Service Senior Staff Association (PSSSA) to nominate Goosarran for appointment to the PSC.
In a press release, the AG Chambers said the GPSU’s argued that the PSSSA is not a certified trade union recognized by the Trade Union Recognition Act for the purpose of representing public officers for the appointment to the PSC and therefore could not properly nominate Goolsarran for appointment to the PSC in accordance with Article 200(1)(b) of the Constitution of Guyana.
According to the press release, the AG in his argument contended that GPSU “abysmally” failed to establish a case of violation of the Constitution or any principle of law or any provision of any statute law.
“Furthermore, it was argued by the Attorney General that the framers of the Constitution deliberately and intentionally used the term ‘such bodies as may appear’ in order to lend to the widest possible interpretation,” the statement said.
Additionally, The Attorney General also underscored that Article 200(1) of the Constitution vests the power to determine the bodies to be consulted, solely with the National Assembly.
Ralph Ramkarran made similar argument on behalf of the Speaker of the National Assembly noting that in this case, there is no such dispute and both the GPSU and the PSSSA are recognized as representatives of public officers or classes of public officers.
Goolsarran is among six members who were appointed by President Irfaan Ali as members of the PSC on July 13.
The other Commissioners are: Janice Bowen, Leila Ramson, Maurice Gajadhar, Melcita Bovell and Manniram Prashad. They are appointed for a period of three years.
Afterwards, GPSU had signalled its intention to legally challenge the process through which Goolsarran was nominated.
Two members of the PSC are to be appointed by the President on the nomination of the National Assembly after consulting with such bodies that appear to represent public officers.
Since 2001, the National Assembly consulted with the GPSU and the PSSSA.
It was the PSSSA that nominated Goolsarran. Goolsarran is the Chairman of the National Accreditation Council, lecturer at the University of Guyana and a former Director of the National Centre of Educational Resources Development (NCERD).