King challenges Sooba continuing as Town Clerk

-in appeal of Chief Justice’s ruling

Attorneys for City Hall Public Relations Officer Royston King have appealed parts of the Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang’s recent ruling which said, among other things, that Carol Sooba can continue performing the functions of Town Clerk as the de facto Town Clerk.

On April 10th, Justice Chang ruled that former Local Government Minister Ganga Persaud did not have the lawful authority to appoint anyone and that his decision to appoint Sooba as the Town Clerk was “ultra vires” since that responsibility was vested in the Local Government Commission, although it has never been set up.

“…It is the finding of the court that the Minister acted ultra vires the provisions of the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01, and his decision to appoint Carol Sooba as Town Clerk must be quashed,” Justice Chang said.

Royston King
Royston King

However, Justice Chang said that his decision did not prevent Sooba from continuing to perform the functions of Town Clerk as the “de facto” Town Clerk since a direct challenge was needed to bring her de facto tenure to an end.

In listing the grounds of appeal, Hughes argued that Justice Chang had erred in law when he found that the Town Clerk could perform and or continue to perform her functions as Town Clerk as the de facto Town Clerk.

He stated that Justice Chang also erred when he found that the court was being asked to “substitute its decision for that of the Minister.”

Further, Hughes said that “the learned trial judge misdirected himself when he found that the Minister could take into consideration criteria other than that which was made known to the applicants as the relevant criteria.”

As part of the relief sought, Hughes said that the decision should be varied and or amended to direct that Sooba could not perform the functions of Town Clerk de facto or in any other capacity and that it be varied and or amended to grant an order absolute on the ground that the applicant had a legitimate expectation that the candidate for Town Clerk would be considered on the basis of the criteria established by the Minister.

 Carol Sooba
Carol Sooba

On April 17, Attorney General Anil Nandlall on behalf of Local Government Minister Norman Whittaker filed an appeal against Justice Chang’s ruling that Sooba’s appointment was legally defective.

Last December, King filed a suit asking that the then minister, Persaud, show cause why his decision to appoint Sooba as Town Clerk should not be reversed.

King’s move came after Sooba was appointed despite widespread disapproval and also because an interview panel had voted her as the least qualified person for the job. King had charged that the decision was an abuse of power because Persaud had failed to apply the conditions he had originally requested when advertising for a Town Clerk.

King, Paul Clarke and Darren Khan were the other applicants who had applied for the position.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Facebook Live set to broadcast T20 games

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Caribbean Premier League organisers have combined with online social networking service, Facebook, to broadcast all 34 games of the new season, live to 40 countries.

default placeholder

Increased venues, franchises in pipeline as CPL seeks expansion

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,  CMC – Caribbean Premier League organisers say they will explore pushing the increasingly popular Twenty20 tournament into Asia, as well as expanding the number of franchises involved and hosting them in North American cities.

default placeholder

Grade Six results to be released Tuesday

The Ministry of Education today said that results of the National Grade Six Assessment –NGSA will be released on Tuesday, July 5, 2016.

The ambassadors group with UG Vice Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith (seated fifth from left)

UG needs emergency $$ to prevent collapse

A conference of local and diaspora stakeholders of the University of Guyana (UG) has called on the government to provide emergency funding to the institution to reverse its “imminent collapse”.

Sattaur Gafoor in the temporary office which was set up after the fire

Gafoor’s, insurers in ‘stalemate’ over Houston Complex repairs

There is a “stalemate” between Gafoors and its insurance underwriters over how to proceed on a building that was damaged in the massive fire at the company’s Houston Complex last month but some reconstruction has started.

20160629digicel

Duo stole over $31M in electronics from Digicel

Two men were yesterday charged with stealing over $31 million in electronics belonging to Digicel Guyana Incorporated. Albert De Freitas, 27, and Basdeo Sackoon, 26, appeared before city magistrate Dylon Bess charged with stealing a total of $31,107,510 in items from the telecoms company.

default placeholder

Driver gets one year in jail for causing boy’s death

A man was yesterday sentenced to one year in jail after being found guilty of three offences, including causing the death of an 11-year-old child by dangerous driving.

default placeholder

Gov’t support for city’s financial measures to hinge on transparency, public interest

President David Granger on Monday said that central government’s support for the city’s measures to make itself financial sustainable would rest on transparency and the public’s interest.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: