Oral arguments got underway this afternoon in the High Court in the application filed by Attorney General Anil Nandall to strike out President Ali from legal proceedings brought by the Police Service Commission, lawyers from the two sides maintained their differing views.
During his arguments, the Attorney General said the Police Service Commission’s naming of the President in its challenge is unprecedented and argued that precedence in relation to Presidential immunity has been set in Guyana and across the Commonwealth
It is the contention of the Attorney General that naming the President in the proceedings is contrary to and in contravention of Article 182 and Section 10 of the State Liability Act and contended that the President has immunity under article 182.
Mr. Nandlall said his application should not be interpreted to mean that the President is above the law or immune from the challenge, but it simply means that the President cannot be named in the proceedings but rather the Attorney General.
The AG said the President was discharging his duty under the Constitution when he suspended the Public Service Commission.
He said the President’s actions could be challenged but not through the President directly.
“Whether President Ali has acted properly, that is the subject of a different matter, and I want to make that distinction,” Mr. Nandlall told the Court.
In reply, Attorney Selwyn Pieters, who appeared on behalf the Police Service maintained that the President is the proper and appropriate party to the proceedings and should remain part of the proceedings, pointing out that it was the President who suspended the Police Service Commission.
Mr. Pieters argued that such has never happened before and the President, in case, must be answerable for his actions.
“We acknowledge that naming the President is unusual, we submit that the case is unprecedented, because of the course of action taken by the President- unconstitutional and undemocratic…We have indicated that His Excellency be named in his official capacity and not his private capacity,” Pieters submitted.
Pieters also contended that there is no risk in naming the President in the proceedings and if he were part of the proceedings, that would not affect his Presidency or functions. But the Attorney General in his conclusion said he could not imagine a case where a sitting President is waiting on the corridors of the Court to answer to a Judge for a decision, he (the President) has made.
Justice Gino Persaud has set the 16th September for the ruling of the matter.