People's National Movement (PNM) disciplinary committee member Dr Subash Sharma, who resigned from the party yesterday, had initiated legal action earlier this year against outgoing Integrity Commission member Dr Shelly Anne Lalchan.
Sharma confirmed both developments yesterday. On his resignation, he said PNM leader Keith Rowley's situation in the Emailgate issue was the last straw for him.
He is clinical co-ordinator/lecturer of the Optometry Programme at UWI's School of Optometry/Visual Sciences.
Sharma had initiated action against Lalchan, who is an opthalmologist, in February over alleged defamation in relation to the National Eye Survey of T&T (NESTT) project. Lalchan resigned as a member of the Integrity Commission on Wednesday.
Sharma has declined details on the matter which is still in court but it is understood that when the matter occurred it was conveyed to UWI officials and that also was communicated to the President's Office. There was no comment from President's House on this, however.
Sharma joined the PNM in 2006 and was a high-profile member under the Patrick Manning administration. He was PNM's St Augustine candidate in 2010, St Augustine PRO, election officer at various points and co-ordinator of the party's Chaguanas East and West areas.
His resignation, however, is merely an official parting of the ways since Sharma had been estranged from PNM since the 2014 internal leadership contest when he backed contender Penny Beckles-Robinson against Rowley as part of the "Preserve the Balisier" pressure group.
Sharma was among several of her supporters who criticised Rowley's leadership.
In his resignation letter to PNM general secretary Ashton Ford, Dr Sharma said: "I regret to inform you I have decided to resign from the PNM because the party does not represent the ideals that I hold very dear, which attracted me to become a member.
"However, the latest blow to the party due to his irrational and cavalier prosecution of the Emailgate affair, where he attempted to mislead our sacred Parliament and defame its honourable members, in addition to other errors of judgment (Section 34, multiple "no-confidence" motions, running from Parliament), have shown he cannot be trusted anymore with the leadership of the party and definitely not with the prime ministerial responsibility of our country."
Sharma also said Rowley's ill-advised association with the "Roundtable" at this time was another cause for concern.
"He must go now. I sincerely hope the party can overcome its present difficulties and take its rightful place again to offer our nation an honest option in our democracy," he added.
On his future, Sharma said: "I'm remaining very active politically and will continue having talks with various groups but I have made no decision. Ideally, I prefer an independent line to see how best to serve T&T."