Judge orders Griffith to promote cop

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 17:45

A High Court Judge has or­dered Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith to retroac­tive­ly pro­mote a po­lice of­fi­cer whose em­ploy­ment sta­tus had not changed al­most a year af­ter he won his law­suit over the is­sue. 


Jus­tice Ricky Rahim grant­ed the or­der as a con­tempt of court ap­pli­ca­tion against Grif­fith for fail­ing to abide by his (Rahim) pre­vi­ous or­der in the case, came up for hear­ing at the Hall of Jus­tice in Port-of-Spain.

Rahim was forced to make the rul­ing af­ter Grif­fith’s lawyers and those for po­lice pros­e­cu­tor PC Ram­dath Phillip in­formed him that they were un­able to come to a com­pro­mise on how Rahim’s or­der should be ef­fect­ed, over the past week. 

Rahim urged the par­ties to find an am­i­ca­ble res­o­lu­tion as he had al­ready found that Phillip had been treat­ed un­fair­ly. 

Af­ter the mat­ter was stood down to fa­cil­i­tate fur­ther dis­cus­sions, Phillip’s lawyer Anand Ram­lo­gan, SC, in­formed the court that no agree­ment had been reached and re­quest­ed that Rahim grant the or­der that he (Phillip) be retroac­tive­ly pro­mot­ed to the rank of Sergeant (Sgt). 

T&T Po­lice Ser­vice (TTPS) Di­rec­tor of Le­gal Ser­vices Chris­t­ian Chan­dler and at­tor­ney Lester Chari­ah, who rep­re­sent­ed Grif­fith, did not con­sent to the or­der but al­so did not ob­ject to it.

The or­der means that the TTPS will have to al­so pay Phillip the dif­fer­ence in his salary from when the retroac­tive pro­mo­tion took ef­fect April 21, 2016. 

Phillip, of Princes Town, joined the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice (TTPS) in Feb­ru­ary 2003. He com­plet­ed his Bach­e­lor’s de­gree in law in 2007 and was called to the bar in 2010. 

Phillip at­tempt­ed to utilise a de­part­men­tal or­der in­tro­duced in 2007, which gave po­lice of­fi­cers with an LLB de­gree from an ac­cred­it­ed in­sti­tu­tion an ex­emp­tion from writ­ing pro­mo­tion­al ex­ams. Of­fi­cers with the qual­i­fi­ca­tion were to be award­ed the max­i­mum 35 points in the ex­am­i­na­tion cat­e­go­ry. 

How­ev­er, Phillip was re­fused as he was in­formed that he had ap­plied af­ter the Ju­ly 29, 2010 dead­line. 

In De­cem­ber, last year, Rahim up­held Phillip’s law­suit as he ruled that the re­fusal was un­fair, ir­ra­tional and done in breach of the prin­ci­ples of nat­ur­al jus­tice. 

Phillip’s lawyers brought the con­tempt of court pro­ceed­ings af­ter Grif­fith re­peat­ed­ly failed to give ef­fect to the judge­ment af­ter sev­er­al months. 

Phillip was al­so rep­re­sent­ed by Jared Ja­groo and Alana Ram­baran while Joel Rop­er al­so rep­re­sent­ed Grif­fith. 

Reporter: Derek Achong