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CCJ ORDERS URGENT HEARING IN GUYANA’S COURT OF APPEAL

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Port of Spain, Trinidad. In the case of Blairmont Rice Investment Inc. v Kayman Sankar Company Ltd, Kayman Sankar Investment Ltd and Beni Sankar, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) refused an application for special leave to appeal to the CCJ. In a motion filed in the Court of Appeal of Guyana on February 9, 2017, Blairmont alleged that it sought an order for the matter to be returned to the High Court of Guyana for retrial because the trial judge had failed to provide written reasons for his decisions before retiring from office. In its application, the company alleged that the Court of Appeal of Guyana had refused its request and, instead, ordered that the Record of Appeal be settled and that the appeal should proceed.

In refusing the application for special leave, the CCJ ordered that the hearing to determine Blairmont’s substantive appeal was deemed fit for urgent hearing by Guyana’s Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal has been ordered to notify the CCJ of the hearing date by 21 December 2017.
The CCJ rejected Blairmont’s application for special leave because they did not seek an order for retrial in the motion filed on 9 February 2017 but actually sought to progress Blairmont’s substantive appeal by having the Court of Appeal hear the appeal in the light of the availability of the pleadings, exhibits, affidavits, the trial judge’s notes of evidence and his detailed order, despite the absence of any written reasons for his decision.

This dispute originated when Blairmont entered into three agreements where the respondents sold them land, equipment, and buildings in December 2006. Blairmont made an initial payment towards the purchase and entered into possession. The remaining amount was agreed to be paid in portions at half-yearly intervals. There was a term in the agreements that the respondents had the right to repossess the properties if Blairmont failed to make the required payments. When it failed

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to make those payments the respondents purported to terminate the agreements and filed a claim in the High Court of Guyana on 4 April 2011 in order to obtain a declaration that they had terminated the agreements and to recover possession of the properties.

The CCJ expressed its dissatisfaction with the delay in having the appeal heard. The CCJ stated, “the Applicant’s Notice of Appeal was filed on 17 April 2012. Over five and a half years have elapsed since then and it is clear that the substantive appeal needs to be heard as expeditiously as possible”. Basic costs were awarded to the Respondents.
-end-

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