27 May 2008

One Law?

I've written before about the differences in how the law is applied among the different strata of society. I've even written before on how Machel Montano is given preferential treatment by magistrates after having been charged for assaulting a man outside a nightclub.

In a move that is certainly peculiar, not made any less comprehensive by the fact that his lawyer is an experienced, noted barrister, Machel did not appear in court as required.

Montano's attorney Dana Seetahal SC informed Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor that she (Seetahal) had previously indicated to the court that Montano would not have been available.

Seetahal added that in a letter dated March 5, she wrote a letter to the court stating that Montano was unable to attend yesterday's court hearing and that both the prosecution and defence had agreed to adjourn the matter to facilitate Montano.

You would think Dana Seetahal would know better, given the fact that she holds status as a senior lawyer and also as a lecturer in law. What example is she showing to her students, both past and present?

I bet if I were charged I would not be allowed 'time off' to make money or fulfil social obligations. Not so Machel. 'Big' soca star is allowed to go to court when it is convenient to him.

The article indicates that the magistrate did not issue a warrant, thus compounding the arseness that passing for a judicial system. It is obvious, at least to this writer, that there is no longer one law for all.