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Trinidad and Tobago

Judge: Retired fireman may file contempt proceedings vs State

Hall of Justice, Port of Spain
Hall of Justice, Port of Spain

A High Court judge has given permission to a retired fireman to bring contempt proceedings against the Attorney General for failing to comply with a court order to provide information needed for an assessment of damages to be made.

Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh granted leave to retired fireman Michael Dindayal, who in 2017, was successful in his constitutional claim when the Court of Appeal found that he was bypassed for promotion on three occasions over a decade.

In its ruling in 2017, the appellate court found that found that several staff reports appeared not to have been in the possession of the Public Service Commission at the time of consideration of Dindayal’s promotional prospects.

The court ordered that damages are to be paid to Dindayal to be assessed by a judge for the years 1987, 1994 and 1998, when he was being considered for promotion by the PSC. Justice Nolan Bereaux, who delivered the ruling, found Dindayal’s right to protection of the law was infringed.

Dindayal, of Bertrand Street, San Fernando, had 23 years’ service at the time he filed a constitutional motion on September 15, 2003.

He contended that although he held a certificate from the Institute of Fire Engineers in the United Kingdom, he had been constantly denied promotion each year for the past 23 years.

He was represented by attorneys Anand Ramlogan, SC, Chelsea Stewart and Alvin Pariagsingh.

The assessment was sent back to Boodoosingh, who had ordered the State to disclose information relating to Dindayal’s colleagues in the Fire Service, to be able to assess his loss of promotional prospects.

The State has been given additional time to make full disclosure of the information, but permission was given for Dindayal to file the contempt proceedings.

The State was represented by Ryan Grant and Deputy Solicitor General Neil Byam.

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