CONTENDING there was inconsistency regarding the racial hostility allegation made by a police constable against attorney-at-law, Nirvan Singh, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), on Friday, issued a statement defending its decision to discontinue the private criminal charge.
On Wednesday, the DPP, Shalimar Ali-Hack, wrote to City Magistrate, Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus, indicating the charge instituted against Singh, for allegedly using racial slurs against Constable, Shawnette Bollers, is being discontinued.
Following the decision, Bollers’ attorney, Eusi Anderson, issued a letter calling for the DPP to give her grounds for the discontinuance of the case, threatening to take legal action if DPP Hack failed to do so.
Bollers later held a one-woman protest in front the DPP’s Eve Leary office, on Thursday, calling for justice.
The DPP issued a statement, on Friday, explaining the decision to terminate the case.
Building a timeline of events, the public prosecutor’s office said police handed over the case file seeking legal advice on April 11, 2022.
Legal advice, it said, was given and returned to the police on April 24, 2022. That advice included the following:
“Section 2 of the Racial Hostility Act, Chapter 23:01 states, ‘A person shall be guilty of an offence if he willfully excites or attempts to excite hostility or ill-will against any section of the public or against any person on the grounds of their or his race –
(a) By means of words spoken by him in a public place or spoken by him and transmitted for general reception by wireless telegraphy or telegraphs; or
(b) By causing words spoken by him or by some other person to be reproduced in a public place from a record; or (c) by means of written (including printed) matter or pictorial matter published by him.’
The elements of this offence are:
1. A person speaks words in a public place against any person on the grounds of their or his race;
2. He willfully speaks those words to excite or attempts to excite hostility or ill-will against the person on the grounds of his race.”
According to the DPP chambers, when the section of the legislation is read as a whole, it suggests that the words spoken by the offender must also be transmitted for general reception by wireless telegraphy or telegraphs or be reproduced in a public place from a record.
“The words must be spoken in a public place and transmitted for general reception by wireless telegraphy or telegraphs or be reproduced in a public place from a record. The evidence in this file does not fit the criteria stated in section 2 of the aforementioned Act,” the DPP office’s statement said.
“Further, the word ‘against’ used in the section tends to suggest that the offender by his words tends to cause others to act in a certain way against the virtual complainant.
“Put another way, the offence is created when the offender’s expressions cause others to act in a certain way against a section of the public or a person on the grounds of their race (his expressions excited or attempted to excite others to act with hostility or ill-will against a section of the public or against another person),” the release further stated.
The DPP, the statement records, opined the evidence is not consistent with the offence created in the relevant section of the Act as the words used by Singh were not spoken in order to excite others to act with hostility or ill-will against the complainant.
“With respect to the allegation by the complainant of being spat on by the suspect, there is inconsistency regarding this allegation,” the DPP office said additionally.
According to the release, the alleged incident occurred on March 20 at about 22:13 hours at the residence of Singh.
“The said night the virtual complainant in her written report in the police diary which is attached to the file, stated ‘…I was verbally attacked by Mr. Carl Singh’s son with racial slurs and was asked to leave the compound however, I was about to document in the diary what was taking place; but after feeling threat for my life. Because he was in front of my face spitting up where I could smell the high volume of alcohol on his breath, I pick up my belongings, I step out off the location…” the release quoted the police constable as saying.
The DPP highlighted that the written report on the night of the incident does not state that Singh wilfully spat on the complainant.
The statement of the complainant, dated March 21, 2022, the day after the alleged incident, states on page two that Singh “spit in my face” and “stepped away from the door.”
However, the DPP Chambers stated, this accusation was not reported in the police diary on the night of the incident when the events would have been fresh in the mind of the complainant.
“She also said in the said statement of March 21, 2022, ‘when Mr. Singh approached the hut door again and continue shouting, with spit from his mouth spraying in my face, ‘get out of yard, get out of my yard.’
“Based on her evidence as a whole, it is clear that he was ‘spitting up’ while speaking and it was not a deliberate act of spitting,” the release further reported.
Police constable, Bollers currently has a $150 million lawsuit against Singh at the High Court.