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“Regrettable that I had to go to court to claim what is lawfully due to me”Former Attorney General, Doodnauth Singh, says that it is regrettable that he was forced to go to court for his benefits.Yesterday, the Senior Counsel acknowledged also that he has since received his benefits.However, this would have come only after several letters were written to the Ministry of Finance, the first one dating back to February.“I can only say that it is regrettable that I had to go to court to claim what is lawfully due to me.”Recently, Chief Justice Ian Chang issued an order directing the Minister of Finance, the Secretary to the Treasury and the Accountant General of Guyana to pay Doodnauth Singh $14.6M. The money represents his gratuity.The order was served on the defendants, Minister of Finance,Cheap Jerseys, Dr Ashni Singh; Secretary to the Treasury, Nirmal Rekha, and the Accountant General.The matter came up again Thursday and a writ commanding the officers to pay was withdrawn.According to Singh, there was no need to proceed with the matter since he had been paid.The Chief Justice also quashed a decision by the defendants, contained in a letter, which required the former Attorney General to submit his Income Tax Liability Statement before the payment of his gratuity could be made.Doodnauth Singh SC, had moved to the court through his attorneys Edward Luckhoo, SC and Neil Boston,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, following the delay in the payment of his gratuity.According to an affidavit in support of the motion, Singh stated that he was appointed Attorney General of Guyana and Minister of Legal Affairs in June 2001, and served in those offices until last January.He noted that from the commencement of his appointments, PAYE and pension were deducted from his salary on a monthly basis.In June 2004, his salary was declared to be free of tax and the deductions ceased, but he continued to make pension payments until he demitted office early this year.After serving seven years and one month, the former Attorney General’s gratuity amounting to $14,650,750 was payable with effect from February 1, 2009.Additionally, his pension of $3,516,180 per annum was due.This was confirmed by a letter from the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs, dated April 6, 2009, in which Isaacs stated that the sum of Singh’s entitlements was verified by the Auditor General.The Clerk of the National Assembly had also indicated that he had discussed the matter with Secretary to the Treasury, Nirmal Rekha, who advised the former Attorney General to contact the Accountant General with respect to the payment.A letter dated September 1,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, 2009 was sent by the former Attorney General’s lawyer to Rekha, formally requesting the payment of Singh’s gratuity and pension.However, a reply signed by Grace McKend, on behalf of the Accountant General, indicated that an income tax liability statement or special approval exemption was a requirement before the payment.Singh’s lawyer then indicated that all of his client’s Income Tax Returns were submitted by his accountant, Lance Atherley.Nevertheless, the former Attorney General is of the view that to deny him the benefits until he submits the Income Tax Liability Statement is ultra vires,Jerseys From China, unlawful, unreasonable without lawful authority and null and void and of no legal effect.His attorney had also written to the Ministry of Finance requesting that the Ministry provide the regulation or law under which Singh is required to provide an Income Tax Liability Statement.Chief Justice Ian Chang concurred and ordered that Singh’s gratuity and pension should be paid out of the Consolidated Fund, pursuant to the Pensions (President, Parliamentary and Special Officers) Act, Chapter 27:03,Cheap Jerseys Online, and Article 217 of the Constitution of Guyana.Singh, who took ill and was hospitalised at Balwant Singh’s Hospital in June this year, was advised to seek medical attention in the United States. In a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury he pointed out that Cabinet had taken a decision to give each Minister the sum of US$1500 for medical insurance, a decision which was never implemented.According to the former Attorney General, since June 14,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, he has been in the United States of America seeking medical attention and he has no medical insurance.He therefore had requested that the gratuity and pension due to him be paid into his local account to assist in the payment of his medical expenses.The former Attorney General’s case is mirrored by former Judge Jairnaryan Singh who reached the age of retirement and came off the bench last year.Speaking to the media on Monday, Singh said that he was forced to return to private practice to make ends meet.He is contemplating taking government to court to get his benefits which he estimates to be around $10M.He believes that a few of his decisions may have angered government and that he was being victimised.
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