Challenge by former Deputy Solicitor General against dismissal thrown out by High Court

Prithima Kissoon

The application filed by former Deputy Solicitor General Prithima Kissoon challenging her dismissal was yesterday thrown out by Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George, SC who cited concurrent proceedings for identical reliefs before the Public Service Appellate Tribunal, as one of the grounds.

The Attorney General’s Chambers made this disclosure in a press release, in which it was stated  that it was awarded costs in the sum of $200, 000.

It was noted that on the 10th November, 2017 Kissoon filed an application (2017-HC-DEM-CIV-FDA-1779) in the High Court seeking Orders of Certiorari directed at the Public Service Commission and/ or Delma Nedd, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Legal Affairs.

By the action Kissoon alleged that the Public Service Commission’s decision to dismiss her from the Public Service for leaving the jurisdiction without permission was excessive, without merit, unlawful, ultra vires, unconstitutional and wholly in excess of its jurisdiction. She further contended that she was not given a fair hearing or the right to legal representation by the Commission and that the Public Service Commission failed to serve on her in writing the charge together with the particulars of the charge.

The release noted that during the pendency of those proceedings Kissoon on the 7th March, 2018 through her Attorney-at-Law instituted proceedings “touching and concerning the same issues and subject matter” before the Public Service Appellate Tribunal seeking concurrent and identical reliefs. It was noted that Kissoon’s uncle Nandram Kissoon sits on the Tribunal.

In response to Kissoon’s application, the release said, Kim Kyte, Solicitor General and Oneka-Archer-Caulder, Principal Legal Adviser on the 28th March, 2018 on behalf of the Attorney General Chambers filed a Notice of Application alleging that Kissoon, as the former Deputy Solicitor General came under the ambit and jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission and Rules therein provided a statutory remedy for the review of administrative actions within the Public service. It was also argued that Kissoon should have availed and exhausted all and any available statutory remedies before seeking judicial review by the High Court and more so that the instituting of concurrent proceedings amounted to a flagrant abuse of the processes of the Court and the administration of justice. Further, it was noted by counsel for the Attorney General Chambers that at no time did Kissoon disclose to the Court the fact that she had since filed concurrent proceedings for identical reliefs before the Appellate Tribunal.

It was explained that the matter came up for hearing yesterday before Justice George  who ruled that the filing of identical proceedings for identical reliefs before two separate bodies amounted to an abuse of the process of the Court and further, that since counsel for the Applicant Nigel Hughes had failed to file an Affidavit of Defence in response to the Attorney General’s claims he is taken to have conceded to the claims therein.

The Court granted cost to the Attorney General’s Chambers in the sum of $200,000 hundred thousand dollars. The Attorney General’s Chambers was represented by Archer-Caulder while attorney Kezia Williams appeared for and on behalf of Hughes for Kissoon.

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