GCB Wins Appeal Against AG
The Guyana Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the appeal filed by the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and instructed the initial Trial Judge, Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang S.C., to issue the order nisi sought by the Cricket Board to quash the decision of the Minister of Sports, Dr Frank Anthony to disband the GCB.
In its decision, the Court of Appeal, which was read by Acting Chancellor Carl A. Singh CCH, the Court also made short thrift of another decision of the Acting Chief Justice Ian Chang SC in Haniff v Ali, which was to the effect that the GCB was a legal non-entity and could not bring legal proceedings.
The Court of Appeal agreed with Sanjeev Datadin acting for the GCB that the GCB was a private entity which received no government funding to carry out its objectives. The Court of Appeal further ruled that the GCB could lawfully institute the proceedings which was before the Court and was entitled to be heard.
The GCB had applied to the High Court on the December 29, 2011 for an Order or Rule Nisi of Certiorari to be issued by the Acting Chief Justice to quash the decision of the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Frank Anthony, made and communicated on the 23rd day of December 2011 to appoint an Interim Management Committee to conduct the affairs and administration of cricket in the State of Guyana in place and stead of the GCB as being unlawful, ultra vires, capricious, contrary to and devoid of legal foundation, without lawful authority and arbitrary and for the said Minister of culture, Youth and Sports to attend before the Court and to show cause, why the said Order Nisi should not be made absolute; the Court of Appeal ordered that the Acting Chief Justice grant this Order.
Acting Chancellor Singh went on to further say that fundamental rights issues “loomed large” in the GCB’s claim; since the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports was purporting to direct the affairs of a private entity which received no government funding. The Court of Appeal said, Acting Chief Justice Chang was wrong to refuse the Order Nisi sought by GCB.
The Guyana Cricket Board had gone all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice which gave guidance and instructions for the Guyana Court of Appeal to hear the matter, upholding that the GCB has a right to be heard.
The Attorney General, Anil Nandalall, himself represented the AG Chambers at the CCJ, while Attorney Stephen Fraser was hired to represent him at the local Appeal Court.
The Court of Appeal said the Order Nisi shall issue and operate as a stay of all proceedings.
The Court of Appeal further ordered that the AG pay the GCB $200,000 as costs.
This Court Order brings further questions to the legitimacy of the current Cricket Administration Bill before parliament as the Minister of Sports premised his decision to dissolve the Guyana Cricket Board on the original decision of the CJ in the Angela Haniff vs Alli matter.
In his letter to the Secretary of the GCB, he had reasoned that the Chief Justice decision gave him the right to dissolve the GCB. He further went on to form the now infamous IMC and stated that parliament will then consider legislation.
In an invited comment, Secretary of the GCB Anand Sanasie, who was present in court, said that he was happy with the decision since the GCB had waited a long time. He complimented the Court for the decision, stating that he was always confident that the truth cannot be hidden forever. He also stated that this whole saga had taught him to be cautious, so he awaits what comes next.
He opined that this should bring some closure and the work of the Cricket Board can continue unhindered.