The hearing of CN Sharma’s court case against suspension should be expedited

Dear Editor,

I thought that when the Chief Justice, Mr. Ian Chang brought up President Jagdeo’s libel suit against me and the Kaieteur News exactly one year after the writs were filed, it gave enormous latitude to lawyers to request the speedy moving up of matters involving the Constitution and human rights issues that have been part of the gargantuan backlog in the High Court. I don’t know if there have been such requests to the Chief Justice. No one can deny that there are more pressing writs relating to those two areas – the Constitution and human rights – that have been filed years now. It took much longer than one year for the two Lindeners to hear their complaints about the NCN monopoly in Linden. I thought that when the Chief Justice moved up President Jagdeo’s writ, lawyers and opposition politicians would have interceded with the Chief Justice to bring up for hearing the matter of the Integrity Commission versus the Leader of the Opposition.

The importance of the legality of the Integrity Commission is extremely relevant to the functioning of democracy and I am still nonplussed at its presence in the backlog. Now we have a human rights matter that has been filed on Friday last by Mr. Rex Mc Kay to stop the  President (whoever that is after November 28) from removing CNS, channel 6 from the airwaves after December 1.

This matter, I was told should be before Justice Chang (who is presently handling constitutional affidavits). All citizens would expect that this matter is heard and completed long before December 1, 2011. It should not be acceptable to the people of this country that this case goes to the judge after the deadline for closure of the station. That would be a mockery of the rule of law and we have had too many manifestations of legal mockeries in the past ten years.  The court system in this country is noted for cases being heard long after the violations that were protested occurred. I would like the Chief Justice to look into the writ filed by Mr. Robert Corbin on behalf of Maniram (one name only) whose only source of livelihood, his canter-truck was (in my opinion) illegally seized by the police in June 2010. Mr. Jagdeo filed his papers in August last year. His matter is being aired. What about Maniram?

As a long-serving academic in this country, as a long serving human rights activist in Guyana and as a long-serving media practitioner in this society, I call upon the Chief Justice, Mr. Ian Chang to hear the writ filed by Mr. Rex Mc Kay on behalf of Mr. Sharma before December 1, and have the matter concluded before then.

Yours faithfully,
Frederick Kissoon             

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