Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
THE LEGAL battle between the group Citizens' Action for Principle and Integrity (CAPI) and the National Housing Trust (NHT) over plans to hand over $45 billion to the Government for budgetary support is to start next Friday in the Supreme Court.
Yesterday, CAPI filed a motion in the Supreme Court seeking to block the NHT from handing over the money. The money is to be given in four instalments of $11.4 billion over four years.
When CAPI's ex parte application came before Justice Donald McIntosh for hearing, he put off the matter so that the NHT could be served with the relevant documents and be represented at the hearing.
Attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman, who is being instructed by attorney-a-law Marvalyn Taylor-Wright, is representing CAPI member Mario Harley who has filed the suit. Harley is also a housing trust contributor.
CAPI is contending that under the NHT Act, the board of directors are the trustees and the fund is to be held for the benefit of the contributors to provide housing solutions for them. The claimant is asking the court to rule that the directors of the trust have a fiduciary duty not to hand over the funds to the Government for budgetary support.
It further contended that the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act does not apply to NHT funds, therefore that law cannot be used to take funds from the NHT. The claimant states in court documents that any attempt to use the funds would be unconstitutional and would be violating the deeply entrenched provisions of the Constitution of Jamaica dealing with property rights.
Wildman told The Gleaner yesterday that the documents were served on the NHT.
It is also contending that the money is to provide housing solution for contributors.