While the state of emergency has taken away some rights, High Court Judge Ricky Rahim says citizens still have the right to approach the Judiciary for help. Justice Rahim gave the assurance in the San Fernando High Court in granting leave for attorney Subhas Panday to withdraw a writ of Habeas Corpus seeking appearance before the court of his client Kassiedath Krishnanan. Rahim said citizens needed to know that not all their rights had been eroded under the current state of emergency.
"At this time, in this nation's history it is imperative members of the public do not labour under the mistaken impression that they have surrendered all of their rights. The courts of this country remain available, ready and willing, in the appropriate circumstances, to adjudicate matters without fear or favour or affection," he said. "I think that is an important message that has to be sent out there to protect the rights of citizens." Panday commended Rahim for his message: "I am proud to be a citizen where we have a fiercely independent Judiciary. I am happy that there are people in society who ensure the laws are obeyed in a state of emergency."
Panday, instructed by attorney Annusha Panday and Shaun Tikasingh, had filed the writ on Tuesday after Krishnanan was kept in police custody since last Friday without being charged. On Wednesday Krishnanan appeared in the Princes Town Magistrates' Court on arms charges and was granted $350,000 bail. He was charged by Cpl Simon of the Southern Division Task Force. Yesterday Panday sought leave to withdraw the writ. He indicated that he would be pursuing another civil action for illegal detention and that his client would be seeking monetary compensation. State attorney Karel Douglas agreed that the writ should be withdrawn since Krishnanan was in lawful detention. He asked that no order for costs be imposed. Douglas, too, commended Justice Rahim for his comments.