High Court Judge Ricky Rahim yesterday found that the Public Service Commission (PSC) acted illegally and irrationally when they decided to suspend president of the Prisons Officers Association Ceron Richards pending the outcome of an investigation.
In his 37 page judgment, Rahim also ordered the commission to pay Richards’ legal costs for bringing a case against them following his suspension last year. The judge ruled that the decision by the commission to suspend Richards was a breach of the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice.
Rahim dismissed Richards’ claim against the office of the Attorney General, The AG’s office was represented by attorneys Danielle Boxhill and Laura Khan while Senior Counsel Russell Martineau and Roger Hinds represented the PSC. Richards was represented by Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, Kingsley Walesby and Alvin Ramroop.
Richards was suspended by the PSC in a letter dated August 23.
Richards reported that after securing his firearm in a Honeywell fire/water chest safe on March 10 last year and returned the following day to find it and two loaded magazines stolen. Nothing else in his Barataria apartment was stolen. He reported the matter to eh Barataria Police Station the day of the discovery.
By letter dated June 28 last year Richards was informed that the PSC will be investigating the matter and accused him of being discreditable in his conduct by leaving the firearm and 26 rounds of ammunition unattended. The second issue was that he failed to account for the gun and ammunition when he reported them stolen. Both offenses were contrary to the Code of Conduct Regulations 1990. The outcome of that investigation is pending.