Ramdhani, Sobers off the bench

-after JSC decides against contract renewal

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is not renewing the contracts of two magistrates, Haymant Ramdhani and Leslie Sobers, who both say they have yet to receive any official notification of the decision.

Ramdhani sat on the bench at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court Six from Monday to Wednesday and at the Bartica Magistrate’s Court on Thursdays and Fridays.

His last day on the bench was last week Thursday, a reliable source told Stabroek News. But Ramdhani, when contacted, said that he was unaware of the JSC’s decision, which was made on Tuesday.

“No I don’t know nothing about that. I haven’t been told anything about that. I will probably know something next week,” he said.

“My contract is usually renewed around this time,” he revealed. When it was pointed out that he did not seem confident that his services would be retained, he said that after five years on the bench, he has many options available to him. Ramdhani had been charged with failing to submit to a breathalyser test following an accident last year, Asked about the charge instituted against him, Ramdhani said that the case was completed a long time ago. He did not state the outcome.

The charge stemmed from a collision at Victoria Village, East Coast Demerara, last year January, when Victor Adams was injured after Ramdhani slammed into a parked car.  Meanwhile, Sobers, who sat at the Providence Magistrate’s Court, said that his contract could not have been terminated because he was only operating as a temporary magistrate.

He said that his contract ended on March 31. No one has “informed or asked me and I have not decided what I am going to do,” he added, while describing this time as his “transition period.”

Sobers was the magistrate who recently gave a suspended two year sentence to a driver who was found guilty of causing the deaths of two elderly persons.

According to Sobers, he only took up the post in the magistracy as a result of an injury he suffered after being involved in an accident in Lethem two years ago that left him unable to properly use one of his legs. At the time he was in private practice and the injury made it difficult for him to climb the stairs at the various courts. The JSC, he said, was “kind enough” to give him a job as his foot healed and it selected a court that had the shortest flight of stairs.

Sobers noted that being a magistrate was an easier job for him, but said that his foot is “much better” since the accident and in the circumstances he could return to private practice, which is what he loves.

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