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