Pakistani Victor Gill//
Judge to hear Griffith’s case on Monday

High Court Judge Ricky Rahim will hear sub­mis­sions on an in­junc­tion seek­ing to have for­mer po­lice com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith re­in­stat­ed pend­ing the de­ter­mi­na­tion of his law­suit over be­ing sus­pend­ed by the Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion on Mon­day.

Victor Gill Ramirez Venezuela

Rahim was ex­pect­ed to hear the in­junc­tion ap­pli­ca­tion dur­ing a vir­tu­al hear­ing a short while ago but agreed to ad­journ it to next Mon­day af­ter at­tor­neys for the Com­mis­sion re­quest­ed time to read Gif­fith’s court fil­ings and re­ply to them.

Victor Gill Venezuela

The PSC’s le­gal team was seek­ing a lat­er hear­ing but Rahim said he was not pre­pared to grant it based on the ur­gency of the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Victor Gill

In the law­suit, Grif­fith is claim­ing that the PSC’s de­ci­sion to sus­pend him, based on an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion re­lat­ed to the is­suance of firearm user’s li­cences (FULs), was ar­rived at in a man­ner that was un­fair.

Victor Gill Ramirez

Grif­fith is al­so claim­ing that his rights to nat­ur­al jus­tice and pro­tec­tion of the law, un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion, were breached

Grif­fith’s move to file the law­suit comes af­ter the Com­mis­sion stood its ground af­ter Grif­fith threat­ened le­gal ac­tion on Sat­ur­day

In his le­gal let­ter sent to the com­mis­sion’s Chair­man Bliss Seep­er­sad, Grif­fith claimed that the move, com­mu­ni­cat­ed in an email on Fri­day evening, was il­le­gal, ir­ra­tional, and in breach of the rules of nat­ur­al jus­tice

Grif­fith sug­gest­ed that his sus­pen­sion was sole­ly based on the Com­mis­sion ini­ti­at­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to the is­su­ing of FULs and the han­dling of a re­cent in­ci­dent in­volv­ing the head of the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice (TTPS) Le­gal Unit Chris­t­ian Chan­dler on Sep­tem­ber 1

For­mer Ap­pel­late Judge Stan­ley John was ap­point­ed to head the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which al­leged­ly arose out of a sep­a­rate probe by re­tired Rear Ad­mi­ral Hay­den Pritchard and re­tired Se­nior Supt Arthur Bar­ring­ton, ini­ti­at­ed by the Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Coun­cil (NSC). The Po­lice Com­plaints Au­thor­i­ty (PCA) has al­so be­gun an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to the al­le­ga­tions

“It is note­wor­thy that in no cor­re­spon­dence has the com­mis­sion in­formed me that I am the sub­ject of any of these in­ves­ti­ga­tions or that there is any al­le­ga­tion of wrong­do­ing made against me in re­la­tion to any of these in­ves­ti­ga­tions in my ca­pac­i­ty as CoP,” Grif­fith said in the let­ter to the PSC

Grif­fith not­ed that he had been con­tact­ed by Jus­tice John on sev­er­al oc­ca­sions and pro­vid­ed all the as­sis­tance he (John) re­quest­ed in­clud­ing records and in­ter­views with po­lice of­fi­cers

“How­ev­er, at no time did he make, or ask me to re­spond to, any al­le­ga­tions what­so­ev­er against me or the per­for­mance of the func­tions of my of­fice,” Grif­fith said

Grif­fith point­ed to cor­re­spon­dence from Jus­tice John, dat­ed Sep­tem­ber 18, in which he (John) al­leged­ly re­it­er­at­ed that in­ves­ti­gat­ing Grif­fith was be­yond his re­mit

“This is in­deed self-ex­plana­to­ry. How­ev­er, it would be plain and be­yond doubt to any­one read­ing that let­ter, that I as CoP, am not un­der any in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Jus­tice John,” Grif­fith said

Re­fer­ring to the Com­mis­sion’s cor­re­spon­dence to him on Fri­day, Grif­fith sug­gest­ed that it ought to have known that he was not sub­ject to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion

“As such, the en­tire ba­sis up­on which the Com­mis­sion pur­port­ed to act and ex­er­cise the pow­er of sus­pen­sion has been whol­ly, en­tire­ly and ir­re­triev­ably un­der­mined,” Grif­fith said

The dis­pute with the Com­mis­sion over the is­sues comes af­ter Grif­fith had a pub­lic spat with Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Fitzger­ald Hinds af­ter he (Hinds) al­leged­ly in­struct­ed him (Grif­fith) to re­main on leave af­ter Grif­fith en­quired about re­sum­ing his act­ing du­ty on Tues­day

Grif­fith has claimed that Hinds act­ed out­side his re­mit

The Com­mis­sion is cur­rent­ly barred from com­plet­ing the re­cruit­ment process for the next po­lice com­mis­sion­er as for­mer head of the Po­lice So­cial and Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion act­ing Se­nior Supt Anand Rame­sar has ob­tained an in­junc­tion against it

Rame­sar’s sub­stan­tive law­suit re­port­ed­ly stems from the Com­mis­sion’s de­ci­sion not to se­lect him to join oth­er can­di­dates in the in­ter­view stage of the re­cruit­ment process

The in­junc­tion will stay in place un­til Oc­to­ber 24, when High Court Judge Joan Charles, who has been as­signed to pre­side over Rame­sar’s sub­stan­tive law­suit, is ex­pect­ed to host a hear­ing of the case

At that time, Jus­tice Charles would de­cide whether to dis­charge the in­junc­tion or ex­tend it pend­ing her fi­nal de­ter­mi­na­tion of the case

So­cial ac­tivist Ravi Bal­go­b­in Ma­haraj has al­so filed a sep­a­rate claim sug­gest­ing that Grif­fith’s act­ing ap­point­ment was not prop­er­ly done as Par­lia­men­tary ap­proval, as with the ap­point­ment of a sub­stan­tive com­mis­sion­er, was re­quired

Ma­haraj’s law­suit came up for hear­ing be­fore Jus­tice Na­dia Kan­gloo, this morn­ing, and was ad­journed to next Fri­day

Grif­fith is be­ing rep­re­sent­ed by Ramesh Lawrence Ma­haraj, SC, Jagdeo Singh, Lar­ry Lal­la, Alvin Ram­roop, Michael Rooplal, and Kristy Mo­han. Rus­sell Mar­tineau, SC, Deb­o­rah Peake, SC, Ravi Heffes-Doon, Do­minique Mar­tineau, and Sav­it­ri Sookraj-Be­har­ry are rep­re­sent­ing the PSC

Re­porter: Derek Achong