(Trinidad Express) A Government worker who contended he was never allowed in 2011 to act in the position of diesel mechanic because he is of East Indian descent won $167,351 from the Ministry of Food Production (now Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries) in court yesterday.
The Chaguanas-based Equal Opportunity Tribunal, comprising Judge Rajmanlal Joseph and lay assessors Leela Ramdeen and Harridath Maharaj, delivered a 19-page judgment at their Manic Street courtroom. The tribunal ruled in favour of Dindial Ragoo, a ministry driver of East Indian descent, agreeing he was denied the opportunity to hold the diesel mechanic position in favour of Noellyn Paul, a person of African descent, because of Ragoo’s race. The court so ruled although the position was previously occupied by Mazarus Ali, also of East Indian descent, now deceased.
“From the preceding analysis, it is evident on a balance of probabilities that the respondent (the ministry) by its servants and or agents treated the complainant (Ragoo) less favourably on the basis of his race,” Joseph said. He prefaced his statement by saying:
“Direct evidence of a decision to discriminate on racial grounds will seldom be forthcoming. Normally, the grounds of the decision will have to be deduced, or inferred, from the surrounding circumstance.”