The state has accepted liability and agreed to pay a traffic warden $122,032 in damages for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution.
Darson Goolcharan, through his attorney Kevin Ratiram, sued the Attorney General after he arrested and charged following an incident with Insp David Subero in May 2016.
However, the matter never went to trial as the parties entered into a consent order before Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh. In his statement of case, Goolcharan said he believed Subero arrested him to prevent him from charging him with failing to wear his seatbelt.
Goolcharan recalled that he was directing traffic on the SS Erin Road near Penal Rock Road when he stopped Subero, but he slowly drove up and told Goolcharan he had to learn to talk to people and he would report him to his superiors. To avoid any confrontation, Goolcharan allowed the vehicles, including Subero’s, to proceed.
As Subero drove past, he noticed that he was not wearing his seatbelt, but he put up his window and drove off.
About a week and a half later, Goolcharan was on foot patrol with other traffic wardens on the SSErin Road, near Clarke Road, Penal when he observed a driver not wearing his seatbelt. He signalled the driver to pull aside. The driver stopped a distance away from him.
He only realized the driver was Subero when he (Subero) exited the car and began walking towards him. While gesticulating, he said, Subero told him, “Like you have a problem with me. I fed up of you”. Goolcharan asked him if he was exempted from wearing his seatbelt and asked him to produce his driving documents. However, Subero continued gesticulating and refused to hand over his documents. Goolcharan told him that if he did not produce his documents he would summons him to attend court. He took note of the registration number of Subero’s car and said to him, “Sir, do have a good day.” As he was walking off with his colleagues, Subero came up to him and took out his police identification card. According to the statement of case, Subero said, “If you don’t know who I am, I am Ag. Inspector Subero and you are under arrest.” Subero then grabbed Goolcharan and pushed him across the street to the station in full view of civilians. After he was searched by an officer on Subero’s request, Goolcharan said Subero told him he was a disgrace to the uniform and he had to take it off. Goolcharan’s supervisor who came to the station was told by Subero to return with a change of clothes for him. He said another inspector told him that Subero claimed he cursed him, but he denied it. Sometime later, he said Subero, in the presence of another officer, told him, “Let me read you your rights and tell you what you are being charged for because you will go in de Court and say I never read you your rights.” Later that morning Subero charged Doolcharan with using obscene language, engaged in disorderly behaviour, and resisting arrest. He was handcuffed and taken to the magistrates’ court where he pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was then released on bail. In November 2017 he was found not guilty on all charges. Goolcharan contended that the charges were laid maliciously, and without reasonable and probable cause. The state which was represented by attorneys Radha Sookdeo and Nicole Yee Fung also has to pay costs.