THE Full Court of the Demerara High Court recently threw out an appeal filed by two Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) challenging Justice Nareshwar Harnanan’s decision not to grant several orders prohibiting the consideration and approval of budgets for constitutional agencies.
The appeal was heard before Justices Sandil Kissoon and Brassington Reynolds on Friday, September 10.
Earlier this year, Attorney-at-law Roysdale Forde, S.C, appearing in association with a battery of lawyers from the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), filed a Fixed Date Application (FDA) contending that the recent amendments to the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act (FMAA) were unconstitutional.
A Notice of Application was also filed along with the FDA in an effort to maintain the status quo until the contentions in the FDA are heard and a decision rendered.
The matter was filed on behalf of Opposition MP, Ganesh Mahipaul and General Secretary of the Guyana Teachers’ Union, Coretta McDonald, along with a number of other individuals.
The respondents named in the matter were Minister of Legal Affairs and Attorney-General Anil Nandlall, S.C; Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, and 18 constitutional agencies.
In the Notice of Application, Forde sought a number of Conservatory Orders as interim relief to prohibit the Minister with responsibility for Finance from presenting before the National Assembly for consideration, the budgets of these constitutional agencies.
He also sought orders prohibiting the Speaker of the National Assembly from considering the estimates, and to prohibit the Minister with responsibility for Finance from disbursing any monies approved by the National Assembly for these budgetary constitutional agencies.
In March, Justice Harnanan refused to grant the conservatory orders being sought, and awarded costs in favour of the Attorney-General in the sum of $200,000. Both applications were also dismissed.
Dissatisfied, the applicants moved to the Full Court and filed an appeal against Justice Harnanan’s judgment and also sought similar conservatory orders.
However, after hearing the appeal, the presiding judges ordered and directed that the Notice of Appeal and Notice of Application be dismissed.
The judges also ordered costs against the applicants to be paid to the Attorney General, the Minister of Finance, the Judicial Service Commission and the Speaker and Clerk of the National Assembly in the sum of $50,000 each.
In addition to the AG, the State was represented by Solicitor General Nigel Hawke, Deputy Solicitor General Deborah Kumar, Senior State Adviser Raeanna Clarke and State Counsel Teakaram Singh, Asasha Ramzan and Chevy Devonish.