Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Judge rules that Nizam's dismissal as PSC chairman illegal

Nizam Mohammed
A judge ruled on Tuesday that the decision of President Max Richards to fire Nizam Mohammed as chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) was illegal, null, void and of no effect.

The judgment by Justice Judith Jones stated that Mohammed's constitutional rights had been violated because Richards fired Mohammed before giving him a chance to defend himself against allegations that his comments about the ethnic imbalance in the leadership of the Police Service amounted to grounds for dismissal.

Mohammed told reporters he feels "totally vindicated" and added that it is now up to the powers that be "to assist me in redeeming my good name." However he said his reappointment as chairman of the PSC is not an option. That post is now held by Prof. Ramesh Deosaran.

Mohammed told the media he won't work with the three commissioners who sent complaint letters to the president.

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives said he took legal action not for compensation but for his family and "the countless people who felt aggrieved and hurt by the manner in which I was summarily dismissed".

Mohammed said, "This is a lesson for all who hold high office that they must operate within the law, on the basis of legal principles and guidelines, rather than based on political pressure."

Mohammed's constitutional motion filed in December 2011 challenged the President's decision to revoke his appointment.

The judge noted that Mohammed's statement about the ethnic issue in the police service generated great public controversy with calls in the media for his removal.

The Office of the Prime Minister distanced itself from Mohammed's statement saying that Mohammed "must be held accountable for his inflammatory and unwise statements".

Following a meeting with the president Mohammed was fired before he could provide the head of state with a legal opinion on his allegedly racist statement. 

Justice Jones agreed that under such circumstances Mohammed's rights were violated. "Looking at these facts objectively, I am satisfied that (Mohammed) was not given a fair opportunity to meet and treat with the allegations made against him and the conclusions drawn from these allegations," the judge stated. "To my mind, the circumstances under which the decision was reached, when examined objectively, do not demonstrate 'fair play in act'."

However Jones said the court cannot determine whether the President's decision was right or wrong, "but whether the circumstances under which it was made afforded (Mohammed) a proper opportunity to answer the case made out against him. I do not think so".

No comments:

Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai