AG to amend libel suit against Jaipaul Sharma to include “gunmen and bulletproof vest” post
Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall will be amending a lawsuit filed for libel against former APNU/AFC Minister Jaipaul Sharma to include a statement he recently made on social media about him.
In the post, Sharma alleged that the Attorney General sent gunmen to his home. Sharma wrote: “…my worker reported to my wife that the SUV in which the young man came out of had other men inside with black clothes, bulletproof vests and long guns…”
The post appears to be in relation to service of the lawsuit on Sharma. The former Coalition Minister further wrote: “If you (Nandlall) have anything to serve me with, call me on my cell and I will make myself available.” The Attorney General is vehemently denying this statement, deeming it utterly false and stating that it constitutes another libel against him.
In relation to serving the legal proceedings on Sharma, Nandlall stated, “(On Wednesday) afternoon, my driver again, driving the said Government-owned Land Cruiser PWW 6390, transported a single Marshal of the High Court to serve the legal documents on (Sharma.)
“At about 2:00pm that vehicle with the Marshal visited the residence of Mr. Sharma at Diamond Housing Scheme. The Marshal, alone, stepped out of the vehicle and called and a male emerged from the house and said no one is home. The Marshal re-entered the vehicle and the vehicle returned to Georgetown.”
He continued, “Needless to say, my driver and the Marshal are obviously available and can be contacted independent of me, for any further assistance on this matter. The proceedings are still to be served on Mr. Sharma. Mr. Sharma’s cell number will be forwarded to the Marshal.”
Nandlall has already filed a lawsuit against Sharma and Peoples National Congress Executive Member and Attorney-at-Law James Bond, in which he is seeking in excess of $25 million in damages for libellous posts they made about him via their respective Facebook pages.
On November 17, 2020, Sharma, former junior Public Infrastructure Minister, referred to the PPP/C Government as “hypocritical” for going after Bond and others for questionable land deals using the office of the Attorney General.
In the publication, Sharma claimed that Mohabir A. Nandlall & Associates, in which Nandlall was the senior and managing partner before he was appointed Attorney General, was involved in some of these land transactions in which a large plot of land was transferred a few days after David Granger was sworn in as president in 2015.
Nandlall’s lawyers had written to Sharma, informing him that his post was not only libellous, but malicious and completely false, and is causing damage to the standing, integrity, and reputation of the law firm and to Nandlall’s reputation.
Sharma, however, did not even bother to issue the apology. Instead, Nandlall said, Sharma aggravated the libel by publishing another post reciting a conversation he had with him about the source of the information contained in his statement about the land transfer.
On the other hand, Nandlall stated, shortly after Sharma had published the offensive posts, Bond published a post containing libellous remarks about him. According to the court action, Bond referred to the law firm as “Anil Numbskulls Chambers”, and, like Sharma, stated that it was involved in land transfers.
According to court documents seen by this publication, Bond referred to Nandlall by certain derogatory remarks, and said he knows for a fact that clients gave the law firm millions of United States dollars to facilitate the transaction purchase of land and equipment.
Bond even reposted the post made by Sharma. The PNC Executive member then made another post in which he claimed that Nandlall likes to make threats and carry them out. Bond further went on to say that Nandlall slanders and libels him daily.
Nandlall insists that the law firm played no part or role whatsoever in the manner or form in which Navigant Builders Inc., which has its listed address at South Road, Lacytown, Georgetown, which is the office of the law firm, conducted its affairs or business endeavours, including, but not limited to, its acquisition of lands.
According to the Attorney General, the ordinary meaning of the publications complained of gives the impression that he is dishonest; unprofessional; engaged in corrupt land deals and criminal activity; is violent; that the law firm engages in dishonourable and unlawful activities; and that he has taken steps to intimidate and threaten Sharma.
As a result of the publications, Nandlall contends that he has suffered public humiliation, ridicule, odium and anguish. He added that the law firm has also suffered irreparable financial loss and damage resulting from the damage to his and its reputation.
The Attorney General argues that he has been working over the past two decades to build his reputation by investing time, energy, and money into his education and career. Apart from being a Senior Counsel, Nandlall pointed out, he has been a Parliamentarian in Guyana since 2006, and previously severed as Attorney General from 2011 to 2015.
He added that he is also a Central and Executive Member of the ruling PPP/C.
Having regard to the foregoing, the Attorney General is seeking a court order compelling Sharma and Bond to remove the defamatory post and to issue an apology. He is further asking the court to grant an injunction barring them from publishing any similar libel. He is also asking the court to award costs and such further or other orders it may deem just and proper.