Former judge not entitled to benefits – finance minister

Retired High Court judge Jainarayan Singh, who said last week that he had not been paid his benefits because he made decisions that were not favourable to the government, is not entitled to any benefits, Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh has said.

According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release, the finance minister said his ministry was guided by advice received that Jainarayan Singh was an acting puisne judge and had not been confirmed in his position at the time of his retirement.

“In keeping with the law and established practice, superannuation benefits such as pensions and gratuities are only paid in relation to confirmed or substantive positions and not in relation to acting positions,” the release quoted the finance minister as saying.

He said too his ministry is guided by this long established principle, which should be familiar to all parties concerned.

Meanwhile, he revealed that government had paid superannuation benefits of more than $14.5 million to former attorney general Doodnauth Singh early last week.

Singh said immediately on his return from an official trip to New York President Bharrat Jagdeo contacted him and the former attorney general on the matter. The minister said the payment was made as a direct result of the president’s intervention and discussions, and not as a result of any judicial outcome on the matter.

Doodnauth Singh had moved to the courts last month, after he failed to receive his benefits.

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