AG appeals Judge’s decision on BK river frontage sale
Contending that High Court Judge Brassington Reynolds erred and misconceived his decision in law when he dismissed the case seeking to repossessed the controversial sale of riverfront property to BK Marine Inc, Attorney General (AG) Anil Nandlall has filed a notice of appeal.
In the notice before the Full Court, the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs listed over 10 grounds why he is seeking to have the Judge’s decision set aside or reversed.
In February, Nandlall mounted a Statement of Claim (SoC) at the High Court, seeking to overturn the controversial sale of the plot of waterfront land to BK Marine, which was done by Jordan while serving as Minister under the previous administration.
BK Marine, Jordan, former Chief Executive Officer (ag) of National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Colvin Heath-London, NICIL, and the Registrar of Deeds were listed as defendants.
It was noted that the cost of the property was valued at over $5 billion, but it was sold for $20,260,276.
But Jordan, through his Attorney-at-Law Roysdale Forde, SC, filed a motion to strike out the SoC and, among other things, argued that it was never his client’s responsibility to make any assessment as to the terms of any sale or the nature and extent or suffering of any sale of State assets.
As such, on September 13, the Judge found that while ordinarily, the AG could have instituted a claim for misfeasance in public office, he did not in the instant matter satisfy the elements of the tort.
In his notice, AG advanced that the Judge erred when he dismissed the SoC because it was an abuse of the Court’s process and sought to make findings on the evidence when there were only pleadings before the Court on the substantive case even though no evidence had yet been filed.
Nandlall added that the causes of action of negligence, conspiracy, misfeasance, and fraud are all required to be specifically pleaded, particularised, and proved as a matter of law.
“Therefore, the Learned Trial Judge erred and misdirected himself in law when he summarily dismissed these causes of actions, thereby depriving the Appellant of the opportunity of proving any of these causes of action,” Nandlall noted in his notice.
According to the AG, Justice Reynolds’ decision was misconceived in law when he failed to adhere to the established principle under the New Civil Procedure Rules that ”striking out a Claim is a draconian step that is rarely employed once on the face of the Claim there are issues to be ventilated.”
The Minister further noted that “The Learned Trial Judge’s decision is contrary to the interest of the administration of justice as it is unfair and/or unreasonable.”
The former Finance Minister was slapped with misconduct in public office charge and is presently out on $3 million bail.