Embattled television broadcaster Chandra Narine Sharma made yet another appearance at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court yesterday to answer a charge of attempting to obstruct the course of justice and was placed on $100,000 bail.
This latest charge arose from the previous allegation of carnal knowledge of a girl under 12 which he faced last week; the preliminary inquiry (PI) into which also started yesterday.
When the Justice For All Party leader appeared before Acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson yesterday, he was not required to plead to the charge of attempting to obstruct the course of justice.
The particulars of the charge reads that on April 15, he willfully attempted to obstruct the course of justice by removing two of the girls at the centre of the allegations against him from their known address and taking them to a house at 123 Golden Grove, East Bank Demerara in order to prevent them from being questioned by the police in relation to the allegations.
Attorney-at-law Nigel Hughes appearing on Sharma’s behalf said that his client has no previous record and is not a flight risk since he has major assets in the country.
Hughes asked for Sharma to be released on self-bail since he was already on substantial bail stemming from charges relating to the carnal knowledge allegation. On April 21, CN Sharma was granted $2 million bail by Magistrate Lovell.
Further, Hughes said, his client had lodged his passport, is required to make daily checks with the CID and has had his US visa revoked.
Police Prosecutor Inspector Stephen Telford did not object to bail. Telford then told the court that the DPP intended to withdraw the charges against Doodnauth Sharma and Raywattie Ramsaywack who are also charged with attempting to obstruct the course of justice and to institute a joint charge against the trio on May 21.
CN Sharma was then granted bail in the sum of $100,000 and will return to court on this latest charge on May 21.
In the afternoon, CN Sharma appeared before Magistrate Susanna Lovell for the start of the PI into allegations of carnal knowledge against the now 13-year-old complainant. The proceedings were held in camera once again.
Hughes, commenting on the afternoon’s proceedings said that the defence made an application for certified copies of Sharma’s passport to be entered as exhibits.
He said the dates on which the alleged offences took place could contradict with dates that Sharma was out of the jurisdiction, thereby proving his innocence. He accused the DPP of refusing to disclose particulars relating to dates and places where the offences are alleged to have occurred.
Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali-Hack is said to have opposed the application. Hughes said the next move would be to file a High Court motion seeking to have the passport admitted as evidence.
He added that the rights of his client to have a fair trial are being impaired because of the refusal of the application by the DPP.
CN Sharma is set to make his next court appearance tomorrow when the PI is set to resume.
On April 24, three persons, including CN Sharma’s son-in-law, were charged after they allegedly offered inducements to the young girls at the centre of the child molestation case.
Two of CN Sharma’s employees were charged with attempting to obstruct the course of justice on that same day. They were each granted $100,000 bail.