Police federation chairman Corporal Rohan James to make another bid to get interdiction quashed
Chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation Corporal Rohan James was not successful this month in the Court of Appeal to get a hearing in his application for leave to appeal against an order of the Supreme Court which refused to grant him a temporary stay of his interdiction so he could return to work.
James, who was interdicted in July for comments he made earlier that month at a funeral of a colleague, criticised the Police High Command for not paying cops their overtime monies.
He took the issue to the Supreme Court but on August 3 he lost his bid for immediate reinstatement while he challenged his interdiction.
James, who is being represented by attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman, will be making an application in the Supreme Court on September 28 for leave to go to the Full Court to have the interdiction order quashed.
In his affidavit of urgency filed on August 3, he sought leave from the appellate court for his application to be heard during the summer vacation.
He stated that as chairman of the police federation there were certain statutory duties he had to perform such as marshaling proceedings arising from the receipt of ailing members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force for financial assistance through the force's Welfare Fund.
He outlined that as chairman he sat on the “NHT [National Housing Trust] human resources and IT and auditing committees and made up the quorum for them to be able to sit and address the nation's business."
The respondent Assistant Commissioner of Police Andrew Lewis, who is represented by King's Counsel Peter Champagnie and attorney-at-law Neco Pagon, opposed the application and contended that James was not prejudiced in his interdiction as he was receiving 99% of his salary and was not denied of certain allowances.
The respondent stated that since James was interdicted, Corporal Arlene McBean was acting as chairman.
In response, James stated that he was deprived of allowances and argued that it was not correct that Corporal McBean was acting as chairman as the police federation was still without a chairman.
Justice David Fraser found that there was no urgency for the application to be heard during the summer vacation.
The judge referred to the fact that since the interdiction, James' salary has been restored to 99 percent and there was the halting of disciplinary proceedings.
The judge said it is inconceivable that the federation does not possess some mechanism to ensure the continuation of its objectives in the short term in the absence of its chairman.
James was ordered to pay the respondent's legal costs.
- Barbara Gayle
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