Parking meter burden
…penalties continue from today
The High Court has denied the application for a stay of execution filed by Attorney-at-law Kamal Ramkarran in representation of Mohendra Arjune, the civilian who has challenged the legality of the parking meter project. This now clears the way for paid parking to continue in the city pending the outcome of the matter.
At Monday’s hearing, Justice Brassington Reynolds explained that while the proceedings could act as a ‘stay’, it did not extend to the executive order of the parking meter contract. The stay was intended to put a pause on the parking meter contract. This would have allowed for motorists to park without having to pay.
The court heard last week that in the case pertaining to the challenge brought on behalf of Arjune against the legality of the parking meter project, Attorney Ramkarran attempted to have paid parking placed on hold while the project is under judicial review. Ramkarran explained that the Order Nisi granted by then acting Chief Justice Yonnette Cummings-Edwards had stated that the project be halted unless the Mayor or Town Clerk presents a reason stating otherwise.
However, Attorney Roger Yearwood, representing City Council and the Town Clerk, contended that the Order Nisi does not facilitate interim or interlocutory relief, because the case was crown-side proceedings and not civil proceedings.
At Monday’s session, Justice Reynolds said the Order Nisi which was granted did not extend or operate as a ‘stay’ of the operations of the Mayor and City Council. The case against the Parking Meter Project will continue on March 20. However, until the case is resolved, complainant Mohendra Arjune will be exempted from paid parking in Georgetown.
Justice Reynolds ruled last week that the court has jurisdiction to rule over prerogative writs. The Order Nisi as granted by then acting Chief Justice Yonnette Cummings-Edwards on February 16 had stated that the project must be halted until the Mayor or Town Clerk provide the requisite response. The order also revoked “the decision of the Mayor and councillors and anyone acting by or through them, or under their directions or instructions, or on their behalf, to exempt persons or categories of persons from paying fees for parking in the City of Georgetown and being subject to penalties for parking in Georgetown.”
However, parking meter operatives continue to boot the motor vehicles of some operators who opt against paying the parking meter fees. Hours before Thursday’s protest, some 60 parking meter attendants were sworn in before the Town Clerk.
Some legal minds had contended that if the City continues to boot vehicles, this would be contempt of court. However, Attorney for City Council has argued that City Council must not be given less than 30 days prior to the institution of proceedings.
Meanwhile, a series of protests have erupted since the project’s implementation in late January. The demonstrators are calling for City Hall to rescind the contract, which has attracted widespread criticism for its signing and rollout process. (Shemuel Fanfair)