Former head of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Professor Ramesh Deosaran, believes the court should expedite the injunction proceedings which has halted the recruitment of a police commissioner given the importance of the matter.
In a telephone interview with Guardian Media yesterday, Deosaran said while it is unfortunate the injunction has halted the selection process, the court action is also welcomed as it will bring some clarity to some grey areas, especially since the country has had some unpleasant experiences having an acting commissioner for a long time.
Last month, Snr Supt Anand Ramesar initiated legal proceedings against PSC after he applied for the top cop position but did not advance to the interview stage of the recruitment process.
Last week, an injunction was granted blocking the PSC from continuing the process until the injunction is heard.
Acting Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, whose tenure as police commissioner expired on August 17, is currently on leave. Griffith, who also reapplied for the CoP position, was given an acting appointment pending the completion of the recruitment process. While he is on leave, Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP) Mc Donald Jacob is acting as Police Commissioner.
Asked about Griffith’s position when he returns from vacation, Deosaran said, “As I understand it and according to the legal notices passed in Parliament, it is up to the Commission to decide on Mr Griffith’s fate now. So I understand he is on leave, the nature of the leave is not quite clear. Whether it is vacation leave or whether it is just sent on leave by the Commission, that has to be clarified really to know whether he can be recalled into the acting position and then Mc Donald Jacob, the deputy step back.”
While that might add more confusion to an already confusing situation, he said, “There needs some clarity, so that’s why the matter being taken to court is unfortunate, in some ways as it might be, it is welcomed in terms of the court trying to clarify the situation now and the Commission itself has to be careful now as to what regulation or law it is relying on to make its decision, whether it is acting or permanent and the manner in which it goes forward given the resources now it’s disposal.”
However, Deosaran said the court should expedite the matter.
“This is a matter of some emergency for the public interest, for public safety and dealing with crime, so whilst the court needs time to reflect, the length of time to reflect should not be inordinate given the public interest involved.”
While the matter is expected to be heard next month, he said, “I think this is a matter of some urgency and while next month in a sense may not be far away, given the pressing circumstances, I think there is need for some urgency applied to the matter and I think the longer this takes is the more confused the public will be.”
The matter is expected to be heard before High Court Judge Joan Charles on October 24, when she will also decide whether to discharge the injunction or extend it pending her determination of the substantive case.