The Court of Appeal comprising the Honourable Justices of Appeal Jamadar, Moosai and Rajnauth Lee this afternoon refused an application for an injunction (Conservatory order) brought by Highway Reroute Movement (HRM) Appellants Wayne Kublalsingh and Others to halt construction of the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the project for the extension of the Solomon Hochoy Highway (SSHHEP).
This is the third occasion in which Dr. Kublalsingh and his HRM were refused injunctive relief from the Courts. The first was on 7th May, 2014 when Mr. Justice James Aboud, sitting in the High Court refused their application for an injunction. Dr. Kublalsingh and others appealed the decision of Mr. Justice James Aboud and on 8th August, 2014, the Court of Appeal dismissed the application and reaffirmed the decision of the High Court to refuse the injunction sought.
Kublalsingh and members of the HRM then sought conditional leave to appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The application was heard during the Court vacation and the State’s legal team successfully argued that there was no evidence to justify this matter being fit for Court vacation business. The Court of Appeal then adjourned the application for leave to appeal to the Privy Council and the application for an injunction pending this appeal, to 22nd September.
This morning, the State’s legal team did not resist the application of Kublalsingh and others to appeal to the Privy Council but instead strenuously opposed the HRM’s application for an injunction pending the hearing and determination to the Privy Council. The Attorney General is committed to upholding the rule of law and respects the judicial process and the right of Dr. Kublalsingh and members of the HRM to take their case to the highest Court of the land where the injunction would be finally and conclusively determined by Their Lordships in the Privy Council.
The Attorney General’s legal team today argued in the Court of Appeal that none of the Appellants named in the application brought by Dr. Kublalsingh and others had evidentially demonstrated that they were directly affected by the highway or that there was any real and present or any impending threat to demolish their lands or structures. The State argued that works on the highway have long since commenced and that the Appellants had significantly delayed in bringing any application to the Court with the requisite promptitude as is required by law.
After citing legal authorities, the Court of Appeal upheld the submissions made on behalf of the Attorney General.
The Attorney General shall continue to resist the applications of Kublalsingh and others to the Privy Council to have the construction of the highway stopped. The Attorney General reiterates the evidence put forward on behalf of the State that the highway is a necessary and integral part of the overall development of Trinidad and Tobago, consonant with the various Growth Poles identified by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in its constant efforts to deliver to the people a higher standard of living in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
The Attorney General as the guardian of the Constitution shall continue to represent and protect the interests of all of those segments of society whose daily life is affected by congestion, traffic and underdevelopment. The SSHHE shall provide connectivity and interconnectivity to a number of communities in accordance with this Government’s desire to improve the social and economic conditions of this society.
Date: MONDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER, 2014
MINISTRY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO