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Harnarine moves to stop HCU probe
The Government’s bid to inquire into the affairs of the Hindu Credit Union Co-operative Society (HCU) is being challenged at the High Court. Yesterday, lawyers representing HCU president Harry Harnarine hurriedly filed a lawsuit seeking to stop a commission of enquiry which was appointed to look into the affairs of the HCU. Filed by attorneys Farid Scoon and Dr Wesley Debideen, Harnarine is seeking to have a judicial review of the decision by President George Maxwell Richards to appoint Sir Anthony Coleman, QC, as commissioner.
The action was filed at the Port-of-Spain High Court yesterday and served on the Attorney General. Among the relief sought is a declaration that the commission of enquiry is “ultra vires, null and void and of no effect.” The claimant is seeking to have declared, that the inquiry was politically- motivated and “is illegal and unlawful, being irrational, procedurally unfair and oppressive.” Harnarine is also claiming that the commission of inquiry is an abuse of process and an interference with the administration of justice.
On November 17, 2010, the President, in accordance with Section 2 of the Commission of Enquiry Act, appointed a commission of enquiry to look into failure of the HCU. He also appointed a commissioner to head an inquiry into the affairs of the troubled CL Financial Ltd, Colonial Life Insurance Co (Trinidad) Ltd, Clico Investment Bank, British American Insurance Co (Trinidad) Ltd and Caribbean Money Market Brokers Ltd. Richards acted after advice from Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her Cabinet.
The commission will consider whether any criminal and civil proceedings can be brought against any individual or entity. The inquiry will also seek to determine whether more could have been done to protect, among others, depositors and shareholders. A court date is expected to be set for a hearing in the matter.
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