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Reformers granted injunction over MPATT executive

By JADA LOUTOO Friday, April 18 2014

click on pic to zoom in
LEAVING THE HALL OF JUSTICE: Dr Visham Bhimull, MPATT Reformers' presidential candidate, on his cellphone, leaving the Hall of Justice Wednesday eveni...
LEAVING THE HALL OF JUSTICE: Dr Visham Bhimull, MPATT Reformers' presidential candidate, on his cellphone, leaving the Hall of Justice Wednesday eveni...

AN injunction restraining Medical Professionals of TT (MPATT) from holdings their executive elections will remain in place until a High Court judge determines whether a group of doctors challenging the incumbents at the polls, was unfairly treated when their candidacy was rejected.

The injunction was granted yesterday by Justice Nadia Kangaloo in the Port-of-Spain High Court.

Late Wednesday, attorneys representing MPATT’s presidential candidate, Dr Visham Bhimull, and his slate argued for the injunction to block the incumbent MPATT executive, led by Ravindranath Narine, from holding the elections which was carded for noon yesterday. Bhimull and doctors Fidel Rampersad, Raj Kamala, Reddy Avuthu, Ryan Richardson and Shaun Lynch, all of whom form the slate, MPATT Reformers, are challenging the executive’s decision to reject their candidacy for the elections. Theirs is the lone slate challenging the incumbent executive.

The MPATT Reformers was represented by attorneys Devesh Maharaj and Kandace Bharath while appearing for MPATT was attorney, Rishi Dass.

The injunction restrains the MPATT executive from carrying out elections, pending the determination of the issue of the refusal of the Nomination Forms of the five doctors as well as Bhimull and Lynch’s suspension.

The doctors are claiming they were treated unfairly by the executive. Bhimull’s nomination, as well as Avuthu, Richardson and Rampersad’s, were rejected on grounds they filed their nomination forms late.

However, the doctors contend that MPATT advertised the deadline for nominations as April 3 and they filed their forms on that date.

Bhimull and the three other doctors were notified by e-mail they could not contest the elections since their nominations should have been filed on April 2, the actual deadline for nominations.

Lynch, who was contesting the general secretary post, was suspended from MPATT with immediate effect last week, as well as Bhimull, after an alleged incident at MPATT’s office. Lynch received a notice of suspension and a rejection of his nomination, after he was accused of abusing the office secretary and threatening her on April 9.

He said all he attempted to do was get a list of electors so they could begin their campaign. He said no threats were made, nor were they hostile to the secretary. In a statement issued to its membership, MPATT said it was committed to upholding the rule of law, and will abide by the terms of the High Court’s order, until any further order was made or there is a full trial of the matter.

Speaking after the injunction was granted, the members of the Reformers slate said they were simply a diverse group of young doctors who want to offer themselves for executive positions in MPATT. “We simply want a free and fair election, and an election free from fear. We are willing to go the distance to achieve this,” the group said.

They are also hoping that good sense prevails, and said they were amenable to meeting with the current executive, to amicably resolve the issues.

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