A retired police superintendent, who was suspended and bypassed for promotion after he was accused of indecent assault has won his lawsuit against the Commissioner of Police.
Celestine Phillip’s victory comes four years after he retired and eight years after he was suspended.
In giving his judgment delivered via email, Justice Kevin Ramcharan found that the commissioner had acted unlawfully and unreasonably by failing to make a decision in the investigation into the allegation against Phillip.
Two years after his retirement, Phillip, through his attorneys Michael Ramroop and Vishan Girwar, initiated judicial review proceedings against the commissioner’s failure to make a decision regarding the investigation.
Phillip, who joined the service in 1975, was transferred to the Human Resource Branch in the Central Division in January 2012.
He was served with a notice of suspension two months later on an allegation of assault, but the notice provided no other details.
Three months later, he met with ACP Ann-Marie Alleyne-Daly who informed him that she was investigating a report of indecent assault made against him by a female police officer.
He denied the allegation.
In February 2014 he wrote the promotion examination and placed second on the Order Merit List but was not promoted because of the investigation against him.
He retired in April 2016.
In his ruling, the judge found that the commissioner did not act unreasonably in commencing the investigation, but breached the Police Service Regulations in how the investigation was conducted.
The judge also held that the investigation ought to have been completed within 12 months of Phillip`s suspension.
The court also ordered that no disciplinary or criminal charges are to be initiated against Phillip in relation to this allegation.
Also ruling that Phillip ought to have been promoted, Ramcharan ordered the commissioner to pay damages to Phillip for loss and damages, to be assessed by a master in chambers, as well as costs.
Praising his attorneys for their good work, Phillip was happy that the investigation has finally ended.
The commissioner was represented by State attorneys Karlene Seenath and Amrita Ramsook.