Dismissed GDF Captain sues State

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FORMER Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Captain, Rawle Blake, is suing the State for his ‘wrongful discharge’ from the service in April 2019.

The lawsuit, which was filed by Attorney-at-law Patrice Henry on behalf of Blake, listed Attorney General Basil Williams as the Defendant.

According to a Statement of Claim (SOC), Blake, the Claimant, is also asking the court to award him aggravate damages in excess of $500,000 for wrongful discharge at common law, the unlawful exercise of Constitutional powers and/ or breach of the Claimant’s contractual obligations with the State.

Blake is also claiming for general damages in excess of 40 months’ salary, representing the period it would take the claimant to be re-employed in a similar job/capacity, or alternatively employed.

He is also seeking an order for full salary to be paid from April 2019, up until the date of the decision in the matter.

The claimant is also asking for an order for him to be paid pension, and gratuity under the pension act and the defence act of Guyana.
The former officer is also asking the State for compensation and is claiming for damages for breach and/ or violation of his constitutional right to work under article 149A of the constitution of Guyana.

He is also seeking an order of re-instatement or damages/ compensation in lieu thereof for his unlawful discharge.

Blake is calling for interest calculated at 6% per annum from the date of filing of the application, until the judgment and at 4% per annum from the date of judgement up until full payment, excluding court cost, is made.

He is also claiming for substantial and significant cost in excess of $400,000.
The court document said that Blake had worked continuously as a commissioned officer from the rank of Second Lieutenant to that of Captain, that is, from March 14, 2003 to April 1, 2019, when he was discharged from GDF without any benefits as stated in the Force Orders and his records of service.

According to the document, Blake was never subjected to Court Martial proceedings, despite several requests for same to be done in the instant matter and was railroaded and “cowboyed” by the unconstitutional process of being forced to resign or face dismissal.
“The method used to separate the claimant’s services with the Guyana Defence Force is wrong, unconstitutional, null, void and of no legal effect, and render the discharge as unlawful, to deprive the claimant of his property and/ or pension and gratuity rights” the document read.

Blake in his court document stated that he was currently experiencing financial hardship despite seeking an alternative employment, but was yet to receive even a temporary job with less payment.

At the time of his unlawful discharge, Blake had and still has utility bills, hire purchase items and loans to repay, in addition to a wife and four young children.