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Norton wants High Court to quash President’s appointment of Police Service, Integrity Commissions

President Irfaan Ali is flanked by members of the Police Service and Integrity Commissions [Photo: Office of the President/ May 31]

Arguing that President Irfaan Ali did not have “meaningful consultation” with him as required under 210 (1) and 232 of the Constitution, Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton has moved to the High Court, seeking to quash the recent appointments of the Chairmanship and members of the Police Service and Integrity Commissions.

President Ali, on May 31, sworn in Bishop Patrick Anthony Findlay as Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) and businessmen Ernesto Choo-a-Fat, Hakeem Mohamed, and Attorney-at-Law Lloyd Mark Conway as members.

On the other hand, the Integrity Commission (IC) comprises Attorney-at-Law Kim Kyte-Thomas, Hardesh Tiwari, Reverend Wayne Chris Bowman, Mohamed Haniff, and Chandra Gajraj, who is Chairperson.

In a Fixed Date Application (FDA) filed by Attorneys-at-Law, Roysdale Forde, SC, and Selwyn Pieters, Norton contends that he was not afforded a “reasonable opportunity” to express a considered opinion on the matter of consultation regarding these appointments.

Among other things, the Opposition Leader is asking for a Declaration that Findlay and Gajraj, as well as the Commissions, cannot lawfully exercise any of the functions, duties, obligations, and or powers vested in them.

Pending the hearing and determination of the FDA, Norton is asking for an injunction directed to Findlay, prohibiting him from engaging with President Ali as the Chairman of the PSC for the appointment of Commissioner of Police and or Deputy Commissioner of Police.

To this end, the Opposition Leader asked for the matter to be heard expeditiously and for Costs as well as any other relief the Court deems just. On May 13, the Head of State and Norton met for consultation regarding several appointments of constitutional bodies.

The Opposition Leader requested the Curriculum Vitaes of the persons put forward for the various agencies, which was later provided.

The two were expected to meet again, but owing to the inaugural Agri Forum and Expo from May 19 to 21, the President said he could not meet the PNCR Leader sooner. In fact, on May 25, Norton said that he would not disrupt his schedule to facilitate any meeting with the President.

Notwithstanding, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Gail Teixeira, on May 27, invited Norton to continue the consultation on May 30 and asked that if he cannot attend, he should send his additional contributions in writing.

The President said he had not received any communication from the Opposition Leader and went ahead with the appointments.


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