Even with a settlement in place between acting Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and the Police Service Commission, Griffith has not yet decided to discontinue his lawsuit against the Commission over its decision to suspend him pending the outcome of an investigation into the issuing of a firearm user’s licences (FULs).
This was revealed as the lawsuit came up for hearing before Justice Nadia Kangaloo, a short while ago.
During the hearing, Griffith’s lawyer Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, SC, indicated that while a settlement was agreed, his client would not be willing to withdraw his judicial review lawsuit until the Commission compiled with an essential term of the settlement.
Although Maharaj did not reveal details of the outstanding term of the settlement, he did indicate that Griffith would no longer be pursuing an injunction seeking his reinstatement as he (Griffith) agreed to not return to active duty until October 31 or when former Appellate Judge Stanley John completed his FUL investigation.
“We feel reasonably confident that this matter could be resolved,” Maharaj said.
Maharaj and Senior Counsel Russell Martineau agreed that they were willing to disclose the terms of the settlement to Justice Kangaloo but declined to extend the option to the legal team representing social activist Ravi Balgobin Maharaj in a separate but related lawsuit, over whether the correct process under the Constitution was used by the Commission to give Griffith his acting appointment after his three-year term ended in mid-August.
Maharaj’s lawyer Anand Ramlogan, SC, challenged the position as he stated that the settlement should not be kept secret based on the public interest in the issue.
“You cannot have a secret settlement in a public law case. That is fundamentally wrong,” Ramlogan said, as he reiterated that Griffith’s lawsuit over his suspension would become superfluous if his client is successful in invalidating his (Griffith) acting appointment.
“This is an attempt to save face and do damage control,” Ramlogan added.
Attorney Maharaj and Martineau disagreed as they claimed that the matter was closed as Justice Kangaloo had not granted leave to pursue the lawsuit.
Ramlogan made another request to be served with Griffith’s court filings, so that his client could determine whether to apply to be an interested party in the case. Justice Kangaloo agreed and made the order.
Justice Kangaloo then adjourned Griffith’s case to November 10, for the parties to report back to her on the status of the lawsuit and associated settlement.
Reporter: Derek Achong