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 HARRIDATH MAHARAJ vs HAROLD PHILLIP

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Honeylu
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HARRIDATH MAHARAJ vs HAROLD PHILLIP  Empty
PostSubject: HARRIDATH MAHARAJ vs HAROLD PHILLIP    HARRIDATH MAHARAJ vs HAROLD PHILLIP  I_icon_minitimeSun May 05, 2019 1:41 pm

Claim No. CV2011-04213 JUDGMENT
HARRIDATH MAHARAJ vs HAROLD PHILLIP

- Mr. Jaggernatuh informed the Claimant that he was felling trees on instructions from Mr. Atkinson for a Government Minister and the relative of another politician.

It also seems quite irregular and this Court is quite concerned that it appears that a memorandum issued by a Permanent Secretary from a Government ministry was sufficient to initiate an investigation....

The Court can and does infer malice and finds that in preferring the charges against the claimant,(MAHARAJ) the Complainant (HAROLD PHILLIP) was actuated by malice. Accordingly the Court finds that the Claimant was maliciously prosecuted and he is entitled to receive an award of damages.



Last edited by Honeylu on Sun May 05, 2019 1:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Honeylu
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PostSubject: Re: HARRIDATH MAHARAJ vs HAROLD PHILLIP    HARRIDATH MAHARAJ vs HAROLD PHILLIP  I_icon_minitimeSun May 05, 2019 1:42 pm

EXCERPT FROM JUDGMENT

Claim No. CV2011-04213

2. In the Statement of Claim, the claimant’s case was set out as follows: -

- On the 27th August, 2003 the Claimant was on duty at the Santa Flora Police Station when he received a report of persons illegally felling trees in the area;

- After making enquiries on the 30th August 2003 the Claimant came upon persons on main ridge road in the vicinity of a quantity of felled trees. One of those persons was forestry officer Keith Jaggernauth;

- Mr. Jaggernatuh who was dressed in a Forestry Division uniform informed the Claimant that he was felling trees on instructions from Mr. Atkinson for a Government Minister and the relative of another politician. The Claimant and the other officers with him stayed in the area and conducted surveillance;

- The Claimant also received, on the 4th September 2003, further information that the felled logs were being removed from the forest reserve;

- The Claimant made arrangements with Boysie Ali, a tractor operator to accompany him to the forest to assist in the removal of the felled logs and while at the reserve he once again met Keith Jaggernauth. No logs were moved. The Claimant also alleged that Jaggernauth indicated that the police were exceeding their power and wanted to set him up but he knew what to do.

- The Claimant was informed by one Sonny Narine also called Ramesh Narine that he was confronted by two persons from Fraud Squad and was threatened to say that he had cut down the trees at the claimant’s direction;

- On the 23rd September, 2003 ASP Phillip and Inspector Charles went to the home of the Claimant and informed him of the report that the Claimant was involved in the illegal culling/felling of logs in the vicinity of main Ridge Road.

- The Claimant denied the report and the allegations made against him. The said officers executed a search warrant and searched the Claimant’s home;

- The Claimant on the 16th June, 2004 was arrested at the Fraud Squad Office, Port of Spain,

- The Claimant was prosecuted on two charges and attended Court some 48 times. On the 13th November, 2007 the charges were dismissed after the Magistrate upheld a no case submission.

The Claimant’s case is that the servants/agents of the Defendant fabricated the evidence, unlawfully obtained statements by duress from men who were involved in the Claimant’s investigation, failed to conduct sufficient investigations; recklessly discharged their duties as police officers; were negligent and or reckless in the conduct of the investigations and had no reliable evidence upon which to charge.

- On the 23rd September, 2003 ASP Phillip and Inspector Charles went to the home of the Claimant and informed him of the report that the Claimant was involved in the illegal culling/felling of logs in the vicinity of main Ridge Road.

- The Claimant denied the report and the allegations made against him. The said officers executed a search warrant and searched the Claimant’s home;

- The Claimant on the 16th June, 2004 was arrested at the Fraud Squad Office, Port of Spain,

- The Claimant was prosecuted on two charges and attended Court some 48 times. On the 13th November, 2007 the charges were dismissed after the Magistrate upheld a no case submission.

30. The complainant Officer Phillip testified before the Magistrates’ Court and his evidence was contained at pgs. 60-68 of the Notes of Evidence. This officer said that at the time he was an Assistant Superintendant of police and was attached to the Fraud Squad. As a result of correspondence received from a Government Ministry under the hand of a Permanent Secretary he said he was assigned to investigate this matter.

31. At the trial before the Magistrate he testified that on the 17th September 2003 he met Ramesh Narine and he recorded a statement from him. In this statement Narine indicated that he had cut logs from the forest on the instructions of the Claimant. Narine however subsequently retracted this statement before a Justice of the Peace and said that he was forced to give the incriminating statement and he further stated that the entire statement was untrue.

36. It also seems quite irregular and this Court is quite concerned that it appears that a memorandum issued by a Permanent Secretary from a Government ministry was sufficient to initiate an investigation. The Court also notes that another senior officer Mohammed was conducting investigations but no reason was ever advanced as to why he was removed and why the complainant was assigned to the instant matter. The circumstances that operated in this case raises issues of concern given that this memorandum resulted in the arrest of an officer who was conducting his own investigation into alleged illegal activity involving officers attached to the forestry division which fell under the purview of the very Ministry from which the memorandum emanated.

37. The police service must always jealously guard its processes from actual or perceived political influence and given the allegations that were made by the Claimant of alleged impropriety by political office holders, greater care should have been exercised by Officer Phillip. Police officers are vested with the trust of the citizenry and they must always ensure that their duties are discharged without bias, favour or ill will. The complainant acted without reasonable and probable cause and the Court can and does infer malice and finds that in preferring the charges against the claimant, the Complainant was actuated by malice. Accordingly the Court finds that the Claimant was maliciously prosecuted and he is entitled to receive an award of damages.

http://webopac.ttlawcourts.org/LibraryJud/Judgments/HC/seepersad/2011/cv_11_04213DD15mar2016.pdf?fbclid=IwAR07MjUBhv6ZcoIVh6kRAWy7cMfqOggaV2tsNLOOBp4Zj8PBuVOIdVMCw_I
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