BBCI takes gov’t to court over Berbice Bridge takeover

The Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated says it yesterday served Notice on Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, and the Attorney General that  legal proceedings have commenced in the High Court of the Supreme Court of Judicature over the government’s takeover of the bridge in a dispute about tolls.

The Berbice Bridge Company Incorporated says it has has filed a Notice of Application to the High Court of the Supreme Court of Judicature for hearing on the 5th Day of December, 2018, at 3:00 p.m or soon after that time as the motion can be heard, at the Law Courts, Georgetown, Demerara.

It is claiming as follows:

The Berbice Bridge

(a) An order of certiorari quashing paragraph 2 of the Berbice River Bridge (Public Safety) Toll Order 2018 dated the 111 November,2018, No. 42 of 2018, made by the first named defendant under the Berbice River Bridge Act Cap 51:06 ordering that the functions of the concessionaire, namely the claimant, to maintain and operate the Bridge shall be exercised by the Government, the first named defendant having determined that the exercise of those functions by the Government Is necessary and expedient in the interests of the public during the period 5th November, 2018, to the date the Minister specifies by notice on the cessation of the threat to public safety.

(b) An order of certiorari quashing paragraph 3 of the Berbice River Bridge

{Public Safety) Toll Order 2018 dated the 1’1 November, 2018, No. 42 of 2018, made by the first named defendant under the Berbice River Bridge Act  Cap  51:06  ordering that  the  tolls  levied  and collected  and any exemptions shall be the same as those levied, collected and exempted immediately before the coming into operation of the said order.

(c) An order of prohibition prohibiting the first named defendant or the Government of Guyana from exercising the functions of maintaining and operation the Berbice River Bridge.

(d) An order of prohibition prohibiting  the first named defendant from ordering that the tolls levied, collected and exempted immediately before the coming into operation of the Berbice River Bridge (Public Safety) Toll Order No. 42 of 2018, shall be the same as those levied, collected and exempted before the coming into operation of the said order.

(e) A declaration that the first  named defendant has no power under the Berbice River Bridge Act, or otherwise, to approve or reject an increase in tolls by the claimant.

(f) A declaration that the Berbice River Bridge (Public Safety) Toll Order No. 42 of 2018 is ultra vires sections 4 and 12 of the Berbice River Bridge Act.

(g) A declaration that the Berbice River Bridge (Public Safety) Toll Order, No. 42 of 2018, made by the first named defendant under the Berbice River Bridge Act is unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect in that it is tantamount to the compulsory taking of possession or compulsorily acquiring an interest in or right over property, to wit, the Berbice River Bridge, owned by the claimant without prompt  and adequate compensation in violation of article 142(1) of the Constitution of Guyana.

(h) A conservatory order prohibiting the defendants, by  themselves, their servants and/or agents from assuming the functions of the claimant as the Concessionaire to maintainand operate the Berbice River Bridge under the Berbice River Bridge (Public Safety) Toll Order No. 42 of 2018 made under the Berbice River Bridge Act Cap 51:06.

(i) A conservatory order prohibiting the defendants by themselves, their servants and/or agents from ordering or continuing to maintain the order that the tolls levied and collected and any exemptions from the payment of tolls shall be the same as those levied, collected and exempted immediately before the coming into operation of the Berbice River Bridge (Public Safety) Toll Order No. 42 of 2018 made under the Berbice River Bridge Act Cap 51:06.

(j) An order directing the first named defendant to supply to the claimant as a body affected by the Berbice River Bridge (Public Safety) Toll Order, No. 42 of 2018,a statement setting out the findings on material questions of fact referring to the evidence or other material on which those findings were based and giving the reasons for the decision.

 

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