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Ramesh plans court action to stop highway
Former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj plans to file an injunction early next week to stop Phase Two of the Point Fortin to San Fernando highway. He also plans to file a separate lawsuit to recover damages on behalf of the Highway Re-route Movement’s leader, Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, for wrongful arrest.
In his lawsuit, Maharaj said, he would show that T&T was in danger of becoming a police state as the Government was now instructing the armed forces to do its bidding. Speaking at a press conference at Irving Street, San Fernando, yesterday, Maharaj said the monies recovered from the lawsuit would be used to support the Highway Re-route Movement.
The group, which was established earlier this year, is attempting to re-route the second phase of the highway, which runs from Mon Desir to Debe. Condemning Attorney General Anand Ramlogan for justifying the demolition, Maharaj said both Ramlogan and Warner failed to observe the Constitution.
“Section 74:02 of the Constitution gives the President supreme command of the armed forces and states that the exercise of this power should be regulated by law. No provision and no law in T&T gives the minister any power of command of the armed forces,” Maharaj said.
“The Minister of National Security, by his actions, the Government by its endorsement of his actions and the Attorney General in approving and defending his actions have all failed to observe the Constitution and have neglected to defend the laws of our country.” He also pointed out that the State cannot reclaim land without first going to the court.
“The rules of the Supreme Court also provide the machinery for the High Court to order the State, as the owner of the lands, to retake possession of state land which is unlawfully occupied by the individual,” Maharaj said. “The Government was not authorised in law to forcibly enter upon lands and take possession of land without due process. “The Government therefore committed acts of trespass in entering upon the lands, in demolishing buildings, in violating their rights to worship and in affecting enjoyment of lands.”
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