Ramlal under probe in forged visa documents

She has since denied any involvement saying instead, that there appears to be an ongoing campaign in relation to the operational boundaries of her office.

 Sita Ramlal
Sita Ramlal

The registrar declined to comment on the alleged forgery scandal which erupted a few days ago and has reportedly led to the US embassy here revoking her visa, but spoke through her attorney, Nigel Hughes who told Stabroek News yesterday that she “vehemently denies the allegations”.

Stabroek News has been reliably informed that police detained Ramlal last week after the US embassy reported being in possession of fraudulent documents that were connected to her.

Reports are that former chief of staff of the Guyana Defence Force and Human Resources Manager of Bosai, Norman McLean, had presented the forged adoption papers to the embassy in a visa application for a young child.

The US embassy conducted an investigation and called in the police shortly after the documents were presented and McLean was detained. He was subsequently released on station bail.

Stabroek News had contacted McLean and he said, “No comment”.

The registrar was later detained after the documents reportedly tied her to the forgery. There are reports that she has an interest in the child named in the visa documents.

Hughes confirmed that Ramlal was in police custody last week saying that she had been called in, adding that the investigations are still ongoing. He called for an independent commission of inquiry into the circumstances that led to the allegations being laid against Ramlal.

The lawyer asserted that there are no documents in the hands of the police that bear Ramlal’s signature or any reference to her, and or any document that indicates she has had some involvement in a fraud.

According to Hughes, the registrar strongly denies the allegations of forgery and is of the opinion that that there is an ongoing campaign in relation to the operations of her duties at the court. While the lawyer would not elaborate on this, it appears to be an indirect reference to the current High Court case involving Ramlal and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Ramlal has challenged the JSC in court over whether the body has the authority to discipline her for failing to report to the acting chancellor of the judiciary when she had proceeded on extended leave and resumed duties last year.

The JSC through its Chairman, Chancellor (ag) Carl Singh, had called on the registrar to appear before a tribunal in November 2008 to answer allegations of breaches of discipline. The body had pointed out that she had taken 33 days unauthorized leave from May 9, 2008 to June 10, 2008; that she had failed to report her resumption for duty to the acting chancellor, and that she also departed Guyana on unauthorized leave for the period September 15, 2008 to September 25, and also from November 24, 2008 to December 5, 2008.

But Ramlal sees no reason why she should be disciplined since according to her, the leave had been approved by the Office of the President through Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon; the office which she recognized as the authority for approval of her leave and to which she must report her resumption of duties.

The registrar said she is not aware that she is under any duty to formally report her resumption of duties to the acting chancellor and has since filed a High Court action through a battery of attorneys: Rex McKay SC; Miles Fitzpatrick SC; Sase Narain SC and Stephen Fraser seeking orders for the JSC decision to call on her to answer disciplinary charges to be quashed, and for the decision to proceed against her to be also quashed.

Ramlal is expected to report to the police in two weeks as the investigation into the forgery continues. Sources have observed that the current legal problems facing the registrar can be of serious concern to JSC, which is the disciplinary body within the judiciary, given that she holds a senior position within the High Court.

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