The Marcus Bisram saga reached the Caribbean Court of Justice today with the murder accused asking the Court to declare that Section 72 (1) of the Criminal Law Act, which allows the Director of Public Prosecutions to direct that a case goes to trial in the High Court as unconstitutional.
It was that Section that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Senior Counsel Shalimar Ali-Hack used to have Bisram rearrested earlier this year after he was initially freed of the murder charge due to insufficient evidence.
Bisram who was re-arrested during a celebration from his release was again released after High Court Judge, Simone Morris-Ramlall ruled that his incarceration was unlawful.
Following his release, the DPP sought and was granted an order by the Court of Appeal to overturn the High Court’s decision.
In court today, Bisram’s Attorney, Darshan Ramdhani, said Section 72 of the Criminal Law offences Act creates a direct problem with Article 122 of the Constitution.
“When a Magistrate is exercising a power or when a Magistrate is following a direction of a DPP under a law predating the constitution that is in collision with core constitutional principles and such a law must be declared invalid,” Bisram’s Attorney told the court.
In response, Director of Public Prosecutions, Shalimar Ali-Hack argued that while the Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, Section 72 (1) which gave her the powers to reinstate the Preliminary Inquiry against Bisram is not a usurpation of the functions of the judiciary nor does it impede on the independence of the Judiciary.
“When the DPP acts under Section 72, the DPP is continuing a criminal charge. This is not a judicial function. What may be considered a quasi judicial function is the direction to the Magistrate and that direction itself does affect any judicial powers,” the DPP told the Court.
Bisram’s Attorney wants the CCJ to bring the matter to an end while it is the contention of the DPP that there is enough evidence against Bisram to have him tried for the murder.
Bisram was accused of orchestrating the murder of Fayaz Narinedatt, a 27-year-old carpenter in 2016.
Narinedatt’s body was found on the Number 70 Public Road in Corentyne.
His death was initially reported to be the result of a hit-and-run accident.
It was later reported that Bisram allegedly made sexual advances to Narinedatt who objected to the advances.
A number of other persons are awaiting trial in the same murder case.