TTDF being sued for blocking Carenage man from joining the service

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TTDF being sued for blocking Carenage man from joining the service

The T&T Defence Force (TTDF) is being sued by a Carenage man over its decision to block him from joining the service as a recruit.

High Court judge, Frank Seepersad, recently granted permission for Christopher Stanisclaus to pursue the lawsuit against the Chief of Defence Staff.

Lawyers for Stanislaus, of L’Anse Mitan Road, in Carenage, claimed that he responded to the TTDF’s recruitment drive last year, and was informed in writing that he was selected to undergo basic training for the T&T Regiment.

However, the day before training was due to commence in early January, he was contacted and told to instead report to the Coast Guard Training Facility in Chaguaramas.

Stanislaus claimed that when he arrived he was met by a lieutenant, a sergeant, and a private, who told him that the TTDF had received an “adverse report” on him from the T&T Police Service (TTPS) while performing background checks on new recruits.

His attorneys said: “The applicant was not provided with a copy of any report nor was any report read out to him or elaborated upon.”

Stanisclaus was reportedly questioned over whether he had gang affiliations and he responded in the negative.

Following the recommendation of the sergeant, Stanislaus later obtained and submitted a letter from a senior police officer indicating that he (Stanislaus) had a clean criminal record with no pending cases or convictions and a testimonial from his former employer.

However, the decision was not reversed.

Stanislaus said in his affidavit attached to the case: “It is my contention that I have suffered a fate that is unfair. There is nothing criminal known against me and I know this to be true,” .

In the lawsuit, his lawyers are contending that the action taken against him was unreasonable, unfair, irrational, unlawful, and against the principles of natural justice.

Stanislaus is seeking a series of declarations against the decision and an order quashing it.

He is also seeking the salary and benefits he would have received from January if he was not ejected from the recruitment process and is seeking approximately $1.78 million in damages, which represents his potential loss of future earnings.

Stanislaus applied for the case to be treated urgently as he pointed out that he would be automatically barred from joining the TTDF if the decision stands when he turns 25-years-old in June.

The matter comes up for hearing, next Monday.