Friday, June 29, 2007

'Court can't tell Panday to sit...'

'Court can't tell Panday to sit...'
Darren Bahaw
Friday, June 29th 2007

THE APPEAL Court's decision to quash the convictions and sentences of former prime minister Basdeo Panday did not restore his position as a sitting Member of Parliament since no steps had been taken to keep his seat alive after the expiration of six months.

This was the submission of Reginald Armour, SC, the lead attorney representing the Clerk of the House of Representatives Jacqui Sampson, in a vacancy petition now before the court seeking to clear up if Panday, the MP for Couva North, can return to Parliament.

Armour said Panday had been granted 180 days to pursue his appeal against his criminal convictions and when that time elapsed no one brought a resolution seeking to extend the time and as a result the Couva North seat fell vacant on October 24, 2006.

He told Justice Charmaine Pemberton, who presided in the Port of Spain Sixth Civil Court at the Hall of Justice that the court cannot tell the House of Representatives to restore Panday's position as a sitting Member of Parliament.

The judge continued hearing arguments even though there was an electricity blackout around 2.25 p.m. and only emergency lights powered by a standby generator dimly illuminated the courtroom.

Hearing into the matter is expected to be completed on Monday.

Armour said Panday was not deprived of any of his fundamental rights, as suggested by his lawyers, rather he benefitted from the full protection of the law and due process by his appeal against his convictions and sentences.

He added that there were no "factual basis" to support another suggestion that the magistrate which found Panday guilty was an "incompetent court" since no question arose regarding the judicial officer's competence before the Appeal Court.

His arguments were supported by attorney Ian Benjamin who represented the Attorney General.

Now it is issues like fockin this that keep this fockin place in ah constant backward state.

Jus imagine, in every Westminster democracy the Parliment is the highest court in the land. According to that piece of shit called the constitution, this body has the ability to regulate its own affairs. As such a simple vote could have been taken and re instate the fockin ole man to represent the people of Couve North.

But nah. Leh we waste fockin tax payers money and the fockin courts time. Fock dat, this is PNM country and so we sink any and every oppostion we come across.

The kinda dostihness we indulge in sometimes eh. Fock man.

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