Request made for Ag CoP to deny permission for the use of fireworks

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Request made for Ag CoP to deny permission for the use of fireworks

Acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob has been asked not to grant permission to anyone wanting to use fireworks for this year’s Independence Day celebrations.

The request was made by Marissa Ramnath, an animal-welfare activist, via a letter from her attorneys, Dinesh Rambally, Kiel Taklalsingh, Stefan Ramkissoon and Rhea Khan.

It comes on the heels of government’s announcement on Thursday concerning TT’s diamond jubilee celebrations, and the return of the parade and traditional fireworks display at the Savannah.

The letter, signed by Taklalsingh, stated that it had come to their client’s attention that the office of the CoP was considering or will soon be asked to consider giving permission for a firework display on Independence Day at the Queen’s Park Savannah.

The attorney cited a public notice by one of the country’s largest fireworks retailers, FireOne Fireworks, for an event on August 31.

Taklalsingh said the Summary Offences Act created an offence for the use of fireworks in a city unless the Minister of National Security makes regulations for its use.

“Respectfully, the minister’s statutory duty to prescribe the ‘times’ ‘places’ and ‘conditions’ for the use of fireworks are inalienable and cannot be surrendered to the Commissioner of Police.”

Taklalsingh said they were of the view that the commissioner did not have any power to grant permission without appropriate regulations being made by the minister.

Ramnath is objecting to any permission being given for fireworks displays because of the cruelty to animals. Taklalsingh cited animal-welfare legislation which creates offences of the maltreatment and abuse of animals.

Her attorneys also cited the close proximity of the Savannah to the Port of Spain General Hospital, which they said may also negatively affect patients and, in the absence of the minister prescribing the times, places and conditions for the use of pyrotechnics, the commissioner should refuse to grant permission for its use.