No JP at Sando court, all alleged offenders kept in custody

All al­leged of­fend­ers in cus­tody ap­pear­ing in the San Fer­nan­do Mag­is­trates’ Court were re­mand­ed to the prison yes­ter­day be­cause there was no Jus­tice of the Peace (JP) to ap­prove their bail doc­u­ments.

A no­tice post­ed at the cour­t­house stat­ed, “Please note that to­day Mon­day 29th Ju­ly 2019 Clerk of the Peace ser­vices at the San Fer­nan­do Mag­is­trates’ Court (old) will not be avail­able. We apol­o­gise for any in­con­ve­nience.”

 

De­scrib­ing the sit­u­a­tion as mad­ness, for­mer se­cu­ri­ty min­is­ter, at­tor­ney Sub­has Pan­day, said one of his clients was grant­ed cash bail on a kid­nap­ping charge, but would have to “ride the truck.”

Pan­day said nei­ther the at­tor­neys nor the mag­is­trates were aware that the JPs ser­vices would not be avail­able.

How­ev­er, he sub­se­quent­ly learned that the JPs had some kind of train­ing ex­er­cise which will be on­go­ing un­til Wednes­day. There were more than 12 charge cas­es be­fore the court.

Pan­day added: “There is not a sin­gle clerk of the peace or jus­tice of the peace to give ef­fect of the bail. So, there­fore, they have all of them (ac­cused) pack up there in­side of the cell.

Some­thing is wrong with the ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice. How could the head of the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the ju­di­cia­ry al­low this sit­u­a­tion to hap­pen? If they knew they were tak­ing the JPs away, why it is they did not make arrange­ments for peo­ple to get bail?”

He said this means that those in cus­tody, who have been grant­ed bail, will have to stay in cus­tody un­til Fri­day.

De­scrib­ing the sit­u­a­tion as “chaot­ic, in­com­pe­tence and ef­fi­cien­cy on the part of the ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice,” he said the role of the jus­tices of the peace and clerks of the peace is a very im­por­tant one and arrange­ments should have been for ac­cused per­sons to ac­cess bail.

“Some­thing is re­al­ly wrong with the sys­tem and they clog up the jail for the whole week­end and they will fur­ther clog up the jail.

The court will clog up the jail for the next few days be­cause no­body get­ting bail Mon­day, Tues­day Wednes­day. You can­not get bail in the court be­cause of some train­ing sys­tem it have and they make no arrange­ments to put things in place.”

Carl Fran­cis, Court Pro­to­col and In­for­ma­tion Man­ag­er, was said to be in a meet­ing.

Guardian Me­dia sent him an email seek­ing com­ment, but up to press time, no re­sponse was forth­com­ing.

Reporter: Sascha Wilson

 

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