Imbert wants to take Auditor General matter before the Privy Council after Court of Appeal rules in her favour

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Imbert wants to take Auditor General matter before the Privy Council after Court of Appeal rules in her favour

Finance Minister Colm Imbert has taken note of the decision of the Court of Appeal on Friday, (June 21 2024) in the matter of Auditor General Jaiwantee Ramdass versus the Ministry of Finance and the State, regarding an investigation into issues associated with the Report of the Auditor General on the Public Accounts for the financial year 2023.

The Court of Appeal allowed the Auditor General’s appeal of the trial judge’s decision in the related High Court matter.

The trial judge had refused to grant leave earlier this month to the Auditor General to apply, inter alia, for judicial review of the Cabinet’s decision to appoint an investigation team to investigate, make findings and recommendations, and report to the Minister of Finance on a number of issues related to the said report.
The Court of Appeal overturned the trial judge’s decision.

The release said: “Having read the decision of the Court of Appeal and sought advice from Senior Counsel, the Minister of Finance is of the firm view that the issues and points of law in this matter are of sufficient public interest and importance that an application should be made for this matter to be taken to our highest court, the Privy Council, for final determination, without delay.”

Accordingly, it said, the Minister of Finance has instructed the government’s attorneys to immediately apply for leave to appeal the Court of Appeal’s decision to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as an urgent matter.

On Friday June 21, Justices of Appeal Mark Mohammed, Peter Rajkumar and James Aboud unanimously upheld Auditor General Jaiwantie Ramdass’s appeal of the High Court’s refusal to allow her to challenge the legality of the decision to appoint the team, led by retired judge David Harris.

The judges held that Justice Westmin James erred in refusing Ramdass leave to pursue her judicial review claim on June 3.

Ramdass was granted leave and her lawsuit will be heard by another judge in the High Court. A written ruling is expected to be delivered next week.