6 months to avert crisis
By JADA LOUTOO Friday, August 8 2014
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HELPING HANDS: Two female MTS security guards assist an elderly woman into the San Fernando Magistrates' Courthouse yesterday where she went to sign d...
IF PRESIDENT Anthony Carmona fails to nominate Professor Ramesh Deosaran’s replacement for the chairmanship of the Police Service Commission within six months, it would create a legal crisis and throw the TT Police Service into chaos.
Failure to appoint a new chairman of the PSC will result in the current acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams being unable to function with legal authority as there will be no body in place to approve a further extension for him.
“Not even a substantive Police Commissioner could be appointed as section 123(3) of the Constitution provides that the PSC submit to the President a list of the names of persons nominated for appointment to the offices of Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner of Police,” former PSC chairman Nizam Mohammed said yesterday.
Mohammed was yesterday commenting on the resignation of Professor Deosaran as PSC chairman. Efforts to reach Deosaran since Wednesday when Office of the President made the announcement of his resignation, have been futile as calls to his numbers went unanswered and messages were not returned.
“It is very sad indeed but not surprising,” Mohammed said of his then successor’s decision.
Mohammed said Deosaran had the option of confronting the problems plaguing the PSC or resigning.
“He had the choice of being more vocal but then he would have faced the same consequences I did.
The PSC is the only service commission in whose independence the politicians can interfere so rather than risk that he chose to quit,” Mohammed said.
“The PSC is in dire need of urgent reform if it is to be at all effective and if the Police Service is to be cleaned up properly,” he added. Mohammed said after his dismissal, nothing at the PSC changed for the better. “Things have gotten worst,” he said.
Mohammed’s predecessor Kenneth Lalla has suggested that Deosaran’s resignation might be related to the failure of legislators to address the dire need for reform. He too believes Deosaran resigned in frustration.
“The current system is totally convoluted and politically controlled. It defeats the purpose of the Police Service,” Lalla has reportedly said. The former PSC chairman said what should be addressed is why the PSC is collapsing. Mohammed said the PSC was going around in circles.
“Someone needs to stay and chance the wrath of the politicians by confronting the executive to effect the changes that are required. That is what I intended to do before I was stopped in my tracks,” he said.
Mohammed believes the PSC needs to be a “permanent” commission so as to bring about radical changes.
“The President needs to appoint someone who understands the problems within police service and who has the determination to tackle these problems in a forthright manner,” Mohammed stressed.
Deosaran’s resignation takes effect on September 1.