CoP ordered to adjust height requirement for male police recruits

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CoP ordered to adjust height requirement for male police recruits

The pool of prospective candidates applying to become police officers has now been widened.

This after a judge ordered the Commissioner of Police to reopen the screening process for police recruits so that males shorter than 167 centimetres can apply.

In the landmark ruling, Justice Robin Mohammed ruled yesterday, (Thursday, 8th January), that the police service regulation which restricted men below 167 centimetres from applying to the police service was discriminatory.

He said the regulation impugned the rights to equality of treatment by a public body and protection of the law and was not “saved law” preventing it from being challenged. Mohammed also declared regulation 3 (1) (f) was incompatible with the Constitution and granted an order of mandamus for the State to take all steps to exclude that height requirement from the recruitment process.

Regulation 3(1)(f) which deals with recruitment says in the case of a male, a trainee must be of good physique and at least 167 centimetres tall.

In ordering the commissioner to reopen the recruitment process, Mohammed said he was cognisant that the police service was engaged in recruitment at the beginning of the year to fulfil a Cabinet mandate to increase the police force by 1,000 for 2024, a tripling of the normal intake.

The judge’s orders were made in a ruling in favour of Renaldo Marajh, who wanted to apply to the police service but could not because of his height.

For what was deemed his distress and inconvenience, Marajh will receive a total of $400,000 to be paid by the State, which also has to pay his legal bills fit for one senior counsel and two junior counsel.

Mohammed’s declaration follows a similar ruling by another judge in October 2023, which declared the police service’s tattoo policy for recruits unconstitutional.

Marajh was represented by Anand Ramlogan, SC, Kent Samlal and Vishaal Siewsaran.