Moonilal loses bid to stop privileges debate

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 10:45

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Mooni­lal has been de­nied an in­junc­tion by the High Court to stop to­day's par­lia­men­tary de­bate on the Priv­i­leges Com­mit­tee re­port against him.

The rul­ing clears the way for the com­mit­tee's re­port to be de­bat­ed in Par­lia­ment this af­ter­noon.

The rul­ing al­so sets a his­toric le­gal prece­dent that sees the court in­ter­ven­ing in the work of the Par­lia­ment, an in­ter­ac­tion which the sep­a­ra­tion of pow­ers doc­trine guards against.

High Court judge Jacque­line Wil­son de­liv­ered the rul­ing via email to­day, less than an hour be­fore the Low­er House was sched­uled to con­vene to dis­cuss the Priv­i­leges Com­mit­tee's in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Mooni­lal sought the in­junc­tion to put the brakes on the par­lia­men­tary de­bate while he pur­sues a con­sti­tu­tion­al chal­lenge against the com­mit­tee in the courts.

The rul­ing came af­ter hours of le­gal sub­mis­sions by at­tor­neys from both sides at the Hall of Jus­tice yes­ter­day. A rul­ing on the in­junc­tion had to be hand­ed down be­fore 1.30 pm, when Par­lia­ment was set to meet.

Se­nior Coun­sel Deb­o­rah Peake is rep­re­sent­ing Speak­er Brigid An­nisette-George, Anand Ram­lo­gan, SC, is lead­ing Mooni­lal’s le­gal team and Dou­glas Mendes, SC, is rep­re­sent­ing the Of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al in the mat­ter.

Reporter: Derek Achong