Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Christopher Ram's attempt to block the Amailia Falls Hydro Project derailed by Chief Justice.
Chief Justice (ag), Ian Chang
Acting Chief Justice Mr. Ian Chang, S.C., on Moday declined to issue orders of Certiorari and Prohibition to Management Consultant Ramon Gaskin. Gaskin has set out to prevent Government from awarding a $15M (US) contract to Synergy Holdings Inc., to design and build roads and stream/river crossings for Amailia Falls Hydro Project. The application was refused. The legal team representing the applicant includes Mr Rex Mc Kay, S.C., Mr Fitz L.R. Peters, Mr Neil Boston and Mr Christopher "Cocaine Chris" Ram.
Chief Justice Chang in his decision delivered on Monday, said among other things, "The applicant Ramon Gaskin instituted these proceedings for the prerogative writs of Cetiorari and Prohibition, not as a person who has any direct or personal interest in the award of the contract to Synergy Holdings Inc., but merely as a citizen of Guyana."
"Nevertheless, this court has no doubt that he did not lack the locus standi to institute these proceedings since prerogative writ proceedings are always instituted in the name of the sovereign and the sovereign always has the locus standi to have such writs issued against public authorities including the sovereign's own Ministers acting or threatening to act unlawfully or ultra vires," The Chief Justice said.
He added, "It is noteworthy that while the notice of motion alleges that the award of the contract was made by the government through the Minister of Public Works and Communication and the Executive Director of NICIL, the affidavit in support of the motion contains no evidence to support such an allegation"
"There is no evidence in the said affidavit that the evaluation of the tenders was conducted by either of these officials. Nor does the said affidavit contain any evidence to enable a finding that the award of the contract to Synergy Holdings Inc., was unreasonable or irrational in the Wensebury scene."
"Indeed, there appears to be a disconnect between the orders sought in the Notice of Motion and the affidavit in support of the motion which seems to focus primarily on the issue of procedural non-compliance." "It must be noted that while the affidavit in support of the motion is pregnant with alleged breaches of procedure, it is somewhat lacking in allegations of fact in support of those procedural breaches of law. The evidential deficiency in the affidavit evidence in support of the legal grounds for the application might have stemmed from the fact that the applicant was never personally acquainted with what transpired in the conduct of the entire tendering process," the CJ said.
He added:"The court is unable to persuade itself that the issue of writs of Certiorari and prohibition would be for the public good in light of the importance of the Hydro electric project to public welfare and development of the country. The execution of the project by Synergy Holdings Inc., may warrant close monitoring but the need for such monitoring does not provide a sufficient basis for the exercise of the court's discretion to issue the Orders or Rules nisi of Certiorari and Prohibition as prayed."