Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall appealed the recent dismissal of his $ 125 million libel lawsuit against his successor Basil Williams SC, arguing the ruling was flawed and misguided in law.
In the Notice of Appeal to Full Court which was filed last Friday, Nandlall argued that Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry was wrong in law when she dismissed and / or struck out the appellant’s proceedings. claimant on the grounds that the appellant / claimant did not follow a case management schedule.
Nandlall was the plaintiff in the original proceedings while Williams was listed as a respondent.
The lawsuit stems from allegations made by Williams about Nandlall’s acquisition of Commonwealth Law Reports worth more than $ 2 million while he was attorney general under the former PPP / C government.
On November 6, Judge Sewnarine-Beharry dismissed the case as Nandlall’s lawyers failed to meet court-set case handling dates under the new Civil Procedure Rules (CPR).
According to the appeal, the former attorney general said the judge also erred in law and erred in law when she did not “give effect or improperly apply the overriding objective of the CPP. which is to allow the Court to deal with cases with justice ”. It was alleged that the judge also erred in law and erred in law when, in the exercise of her discretion, resorted to the “ultimate and irreversible sanction of dismissing the proceedings of the ‘appellant / applicant, rather than imposing other sanctions available under the CPP which could have been imposed appropriately in the circumstances ”.
Nandlall added that the legality of the judge’s exercise of discretion is compounded and exacerbated by the fact that this was a first instance of failure to meet the deadlines stipulated by the Court at the management conference. business; that by dictating the deadlines, the judge shortened the deadlines under the CPR and / or set relatively short deadlines in which the claimant was asked to file identified documents and which the judge failed or refused to take into account. fact that the appellant / plaintiff had already prepared all the required documents and, therefore, they could have been filed and served on the other party the same day, had the Court granted leave to do so.
He declared that the dismissal is wrong, illegal, oppressive, contrary to the rules of natural justice and violating article 144 (8) of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, illegal, null, void and without effect and bad in law .
The lawsuit stems from allegations made by Williams about Nandlall’s acquisition of Commonwealth Law Reports while he was Attorney General under the former PPP / C government.
Nandlall’s application was filed on April 4 of this year. About three weeks later, he was indicted and brought to trial for fraudulently converting more than $ 2 million in legal reports.
This trial is still ongoing.
Nandlall was looking for:
(i) damages in excess of twenty-five million dollars ($ 25,000,000) for defamation published on March 24, 2017, during a press conference organized at the National Communication Network Inc .;
(ii) damages in excess of twenty-five million dollars ($ 25,000,000) for defamation published on March 24, 2017, during a press conference organized at the National Communication Network Inc .;
(iii) damages in excess of twenty-five million dollars ($ 25,000,000) for libel published in the Guyana Times Newspaper, on page 11, March 25, 2017;
(iv) damages in excess of twenty-five million dollars ($ 25,000,000) for defamation published during an awareness program in Berbice on March 26, 2017;
(v) damages in excess of twenty-five million dollars ($ 25,000,000) for defamation published by Demerara-waves on March 27, 2017;
(vi) exemplary / aggravated damage;
(vii) interest on all damages awarded under section 12 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act Chap 6:02; and
(viii) an injunction prohibiting the defendant, by himself, his servants and / or agents from publishing, or causing to be published or said or caused to be said or repeated from and concerning the plaintiff, the incriminated statements in relation to the Commonwealth Law Reports.