The Trinidad Guardian / The High Court has dismissed judicial review cases filed by former Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran related to the revocation of his appointment in December 2015.
In a ruling yesterday, Justice Nadia Kangaloo also dismissed Rambarran’s application under the Freedom of Information Act, for access to various correspondence between the Minister of Finance, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Office of the President. This was in relation to Cabinet decision to advise the President to revoke his appointment as Governor
The judge found that there was nonexcusable and insurmountable delay on Rambarran’s part. He requested the statement of reasons five and a half months after revocation of his appointment. Section 16 of the Judicial Review Act provides for such requests to be made within 28 days.
Rambarran was found by the court to be guilty of non-disclosure in filing his claim. He failed to disclose that he had been invited to meetings with the Minister of Finance prior to the revocation of his appointment.
Additionally, in his Monetary Policy Forum address on December 4 2015, Rambarran disclosed the names of major foreign exchange users.
In delivering her judgment, Justice Kangaloo said she found it highly incredible that Rambarran could not know the reasons for his dismissal, which were clearly stated in the affidavit filed by the Minister of Finance.
With respect to the his request to view correspondence under the Freedom of Information Act, the Court refused. As practiced locally and in the Commonwealth, the court instead accepted Cabinet’s offer to view the requested Cabinet Note and Minute to aid in its determination of the matter.
The defendant was directed to produce the documents under the strict seal of confidentiality and the court will then consider whether there are any portions of it which may be of use to Rambarran and which may be disclosed to him in redacted form. However, any parts of the Cabinet Note and Minute which contain legal opinions considered by the Cabinet will not be disclosed to Rambarran.
In December 2015, Cabinet took a decision to request the President to terminate the appointment of Rambarran as Central Bank Governor in accordance with sections 12(e) and 12(g) of the Central Bank Act.
Those sections allow the President to terminate the appointment of a governor if he “is guilty of misconduct in relation to his duties” and “fails to carry out any of the duties or functions conferred or imposed upon him under this Act.”
Rambarran was appointed to the position on July 13, 2012. replacing Ewart Williams.