Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, has lashed out at the Director of Public Prosecutions, Shalimar Ali Hack, for allegedly not following the Constitutional obligation conferred upon the office in dismissing the private criminal charges against two senior government officials.
“In the interest of good governance in the State of Guyana such allegations ought first to have been reported to the Guyana Police Force for an investigation to be launched and the advice of the DPP sought,” was the reason the DPP stated for discontinuing the charges.
Nandlall noted that “I must point out that it must be very fresh and new jurisprudence which confers a power on the DPP to be responsible for “good governance in the State of Guyana”. Article 187 of the Constitution sets out the functions of the DPP.”
Article 187 of the Constitution states (1) “The Director of Public Prosecutions shall have the power in any case in which he or she considers it desirable to do so –
(a) to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court, other than a court- martial, in respect of any offence against the law of Guyana.
(b) to take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that may have been instituted by any other person or authority; and
(c) to discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by him or her or any other person or authority ”
Nandlall opined that the DPP has clearly been influenced by extraneous and irrelevant considerations, has acted ultra-vires and unconstitutionally by ascribing to her office, a functional responsibility with which it is not endowed.
He made reference to private criminal charges which were brought about by Christopher Ram against Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, that the matter never gained the attention of the police, “Yet the DPP did not consider it a part of ‘good governance’ to discontinue those charges,” the attorney noted.
“I feel the DPP’s discontinuance of the charges against the two Ministers but apparent refusal to do likewise in relation to Singh and Brassington’s charges smacks of discrimination and inequality before the law. Article 149 of the Constitution guarantees to the citizenry protection from discrimination and equality before the law as fundamental rights and freedoms,” he said.
Nandlall further noted that both Dr. Singh and Brassington has been discriminated against by the DPP.