Attorney General’s Chambers has maintained a respectable success rate in the local courts

Dear Editor,

With much consternation we read a letter by Mr Oscar Ramjeet in the April 27th SN entitled `APNU+AFC administration doing exactly what it condemned, Jagdeo not right person to lead PPP’ riddled with falsehoods and misrepresentations. It is pertinent to note that before commenting in the public arena a professional like Mr. Ramjeet should have checked the facts and records in relation to these matters.  Had he done so he would have discovered that the true facts and circumstances vastly differ from his unfounded assertions in the press.

In relation to the just concluded Toolsie Persaud case it should be noted that this was a matter which commenced in 2008 under the former administration and Mr. Ashton Chase SC had conduct of the said matter. He has since after the decision written to the Honourable Attorney General indicating this fact. How then is the chambers as presently constituted responsible in any way for the outcome of this matter?

Further Mr. Ashton Chase is a Senior Counsel and well respected at the bar, what therefore is Mr. Ramjeet inferring about the representation he provided? Further, the author, an Attorney-at-Law himself should have appreciated that in an adversarial arena there must be a loser and a winner. And in any event this is a first instance decision which the Attorney General has indicated that he will appeal.

In relation to the Dipcon Engineering Inc. a proper perusal of the record would show that the matter was conducted by Mr. Roysdale Forde on behalf of the Attorney General Mr. Anil Nandlall at the time. At the conclusion of same, the Honourable Attorney General Mr. Basil Williams SC  was not informed but Mr. Forde contends that he informed Ms. Sita Ramlal, the then Solicitor General. Ms. Ramlal has vehemently refuted this allegation and claims she knew nothing of the said matter and that Mr. Forde did not inform her of same.

In fact she claimed that the matter was given to him directly from Mr. Nandlall, a practice which prevailed prior to May 2015, where serious matters were outsourced to private attorneys straight from Mr. Nandall’s office without any documentation in the Attorney General’s Filing Registry.

In all of that confusion, allegations and cross allegations the record would show that time began to run and the Attorney General was not apprised as to the matter nor its status until some six months after.   How then is the chambers as presently constituted responsible in any way for the delay in filing this appeal?

Once more, in relation to the Arnold Sankar matter, a proper perusal of the record would show that after reading the affidavits and submissions by both the Plaintiff and the Defendant, on Friday 21st July, 2017, the High Court ruled in favour of the State in deeming the Affidavit of Defence filed on 10th day of April, 2017 as properly filed and served and recalled the Unless Order.

The Court ruled that despite the Defence filed by the State being outside of the time as specified by the Unless Order, the court was satisfied as to the reasons for the delay in filing the Defence and took into account the sums claimed by the Plaintiff which is in excess of ninety-nine million dollars ($99,000,000.00).

It was against this decision that Arnold Sankar appealed to the full court, won at that level and the State will now move to the Court of Appeal since it is contended by the state that the First Instance Judge properly exercised her discretion.

It is again glaring from his statements that the author of this letter ought to have informed himself and should have exercised due diligence of the court procedure and proceedings before recklessly commenting on same.

In relation to his allegation of ‘Unilaterally dismissing the Solicitor General and the Deputy Solicitor General’ the author is clearly misinformed since neither of them was dismissed by the Honourable Attorney General. Ms. Sita  Ramlal, former Solicitor General  retired, the Public Service Commission dismissed Ms. Kissoon, former Deputy Solicitor General  and Ms. Baksh Registrar of Deeds is  currently on leave pending the determination of her criminal matter engaging the Magistrate’s court.

It is apposite at this juncture to note that only few matters have been outsourced by the chambers post May 2015 as compared to the volume of matters which were outsourced under the previous administration.

The outsourced matters under the current administration are now documented and accounted for in the Registry of the Attorney General and updates are provided by the said attorneys who have conduct of same.

Mr. Ramjeet further misses the fact that post May 2015 the chambers has maintained a respectful success rate in the local courts and even at the Caribbean Court of Justice even while conducting very serious litigation which was not the practice hitherto.

The record can be checked for verification of same.

It leaves one to question Mr. Ramjeet’s motive and it is unfortunate that since he was unable to obtain employment with the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Attorney General’s Chambers he would

perpetrate such an unwarranted attack on us.

Yours faithfully

Andrea Marks

Attorney General’s

Chambers

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