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Ramlogan: All bills must pass through AG’s office
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has said as a result of the Section 34 fiasco, no bill will be proclaimed unless it passes through his office. Giving this undertaking yesterday, Ramlogan also gave the commitment that the State will aggressively defend any constitutional motion challenging Parliament’s repeal of the controversial Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Act.
Interviewed by reporters at Asja Girls’ College graduation at Naparima Bowl, San Fernando, yesterday, Ramlogan reiterated that he was not involved in the Section 34 matter, for which Justice Minister Herbert Volney was fired.
“Since then I can say that one of the tightening ups that has taken place is that no bill will go forward for gazetting or proclamation without the approval of the Attorney General and that has not been the case before, and that has not been the case since Independence. “But of course there is a lot of good that has come out of this experience, so that we can tighten up our procedures to ensure that it doesn’t repeat itself.”
Commenting on the constitutional motion filed by businessman Steve Ferguson and Ish Galbaransingh, reputed financiers of the United National Congress (UNC), Ramlogan said, “We are aware that this is a matter that has deep-seated implications not just for the two defendants that are so controversial or popular but rather for the criminal justice system as a whole.
“It was a collective parliamentary oversight and through inadvertence a law was passed,” he said. “I don’t think the consequences and ramifications of that law were really appreciated at the time by anyone in Parliament, which is why the Opposition and the Government joined hands with members of the Independent bench, the majority of them, to in fact repeal it almost immediately. That is a credit to the Parliament,” he said.
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