Court of Appeal dismisses PSA appeal in TTRA matter

Home*Cover Story*News

Court of Appeal dismisses PSA appeal in TTRA matter

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal brought by the Public Services Association (PSA) through its member, customs officer Terrisa Dhoray, who sought to delay government’s plan to introduce the TT Revenue Authority (TTRA) .

Appellate Judges Nolan Bereaux, Mark Mohammed, and Peter Rajkumar, refused to overturn a judge’s decision to deny the injunction to delay Government’s plan.

It was a majority ruling with Justice Bereaux and Mohammed agreeing that High Court Judge Betsy Ann Lambert-Peterson was correct to deny the injunction, last month.
However, Justice Rajkumar disagreed with his colleagues’ decision.

Presenting submissions in the appeal, last week, Dhoray’s lawyer Anand Ramlogan, SC, claimed that Justice Lambert-Peterson got it wrong when she refused the injunction, early last month.

Ramlogan challenged Justice Lambert-Peterson’s ruling that although Dhoray had raised an arguable case, it (the case) was not so “firmly based” to warrant the injunction.

He pointed out that if his client was eventually successful in proving her substantive case of the operationalisation of the TTRA, it would mean that the Government expended significant resources in vain.

Responding to the submissions, Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes maintained that Justice Lambert-Peterson’s decision was correct.

“The claimant and her colleagues will suffer no irreparable harm if she is not granted the injunction,” Mendes said.

He explained that those who were selected to transfer to the TTRA would be reinstated as public servants.

Asked by Justice Rajkumar about decisions taken by the TTRA if Dhoray wins the case, Mendes said that citizens could still raise challenges through the Tax Appeal Board.

He noted that revenue collected by the TTRA would be added to the Consolidated Fund as is currently done.

Dhoray is challenging the constitutional validity of the T&T Revenue Act 2021.