Political activist threatens to sue House Speaker for breaching his constitutional righs

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Political activist threatens to sue House Speaker for breaching his constitutional righs

Activist Ravi Balgobin Maharaj has accused House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George of breaching his constitutional rights and has served her with a pre-action protocol letter.

He claims she refused him the right to reply to statements made about him by Port of Spain South MP Keith Scotland.

Maharaj, who is being represented by Freedom Law Chambers, led by former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, SC, threatened to file a constitutional claim against the Speaker unless she allowed him to respond and “correct” the statements.

In the letter dated June 5, Maharaj said, on April 26, 2024, Scotland launched a “scathing and malicious attack” against him in the House of Representatives.

The MP had accused him of engaging in litigation with the regional health authorities that would have caused doctors and nurses to divert their attention away from attending to patients and babies in the neonatal ward in which babies were dying.

The letter added that Scotland accused Maharaj of filing nine cases in which the Government spent $14,620,340 in legal fees to defend. He claimed that the cases were “frivolous and vexations” and caused medical staff to take precious time away from their duties to attend court.

The letter even cited several articles by the media.

On May 3, 2024, Maharaj wrote Annisette-George saying Scotland’s statements were malicious and false. He added that he did not file any case against the Regional Health Authorities (RHA) that would have necessitated a response from doctors and nurses.

Maharaj explained that he had filed Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests to seek disclosure of the legal fees paid by the RHAs to defend medical negligence cases because he believed that exorbitant legal fees were being spent to fatten the pockets of lawyers.

Anniette-George has been given 30 days to respond.