30 Sept 2009

A criminal dispensing justice?

A criminal is described as someone who has committed a crime, broken a law.

According to that definition, found by a simple Google search, then Sherman McNicolls, the chief magistrate of Trinidad and Tobago, is a criminal.

It is not his first foray into skirting with the law, which makes him a repeat offender.

The latest episode of course, is the one he is currently before the courts on – driving without and failure to produce a valid certificate of insurance. Oh I forget: he is charged with permitting a duncey to drive his vehicle without insurance!

If any of us lesser mortals do so, we’d feel the brunt of the magistrates’ anger. Not so Shermie.

Now, clearly, according to the State Prosecutor (she deserves Capital Letters) Renuka Rambhajan, Shermie has been driving or being driven illegally:

Section 4(8) of the Motor Vehicles Insurance Act Ch 48:51, insurance policies were not given any effect under law, unless there was an issued certificate of insurance.

This directly refutes Shermie’s bovine reasoning that his insurance is one of automatic renewal.

It seems also that Shermie has been driving for months without this insurance.

…since the motor vehicle accident took place at 11:25 am on February 20, and the certificate which was presented at the Princes Town Police Station, was dated 2:25 pm on the same date, with the previous certificate having expired on December 21, 2008,

2 months, Shermie! 2 months!

I wrote before that when Shermie failed to report to a police station until much later in the day, it was because he was hurriedly trying to pay his insurance before going in to report the accident.

By the way, notice that the new certificate is dated February 20, 2009. It is important to note 2 things:

  1. What is the date the new insurance policy terminates? This is important, because if it was issued on February 20, 2009 and expires February 19, 2010, then it means that Shermie was indeed driving without valid insurance (and valid certificate) between December 21, 2008 and February 20, 2009.
  2. What is the date of payment on the insurance when renewed by Shermie? Once again, these dates help determine the validity of Shermie’s slippery tactics.

Section 4(8) of the Motor Vehicles Insurance Act Ch 48:51 :

A policy shall be of no effect for the purposes of this Act unless and until there is issued by the insurer in favour of the person by whom the policy is effected a certificate (in this Act referred to as a "certificate of insurance") in duplicate in the prescribed form and containing such particulars of any conditions subject to which the policy is issued and of any other matters as may be prescribed, and different forms and different particulars may be prescribed in relation to different cases or circumstances.

But once again, the slippery Shermie will escape.

Defence attorney Israel Khan SC, who is representing the two accused men in the matter, once again attacked the State representative for confusing the differences between insurance policies and insurance certificates.

He said the defendants were "no doubt guilty" of driving and causing to drive a motor vehicle without a valid insurance certificate, however this was not the charge which was before the court.

I did point out that the charges themselves seem to be invalid, as per an indicator to allow Shermie to shed them off as easily as a snake sheds its skin.

Despite Justices De La Bastide, Sharma and Archie’s best attempts to convince me otherwise, I have little faith that the judiciary has clean hands.