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…as Court refuses motion for interim injunction
The High Court, today, refused to grant an interim injunction prohibiting the State from implementing the vaccination and PCR testing requirements under the COVID-19 Emergency Measures (No.20) until the determination of the Fixed Date Application (FDA) filed by the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) and others.
The Public Service Union together with the Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) and the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) had also sought an interim injunction requiring the State to bear the cost of the COVID-19 PCR tests but that too was declined.
High Court Judge, Justice Fidela Corbin-Lincoln handed the ruling on Friday. During the preliminary hearing, Attorney General Anil Nandlall submitted that the Court had no jurisdiction to grant an injunction against the State but Justice Corbin-Lincoln ruled that it does.
“I find the Court has the power to grant an interim injunction in these proceedings which are in the realm of the public rather than the private law,” Justice Corbin-Lincoln ruled while noting that the State Liability Act does not apply.
However, while ruling that the Court has the power to grant interim injunctions in the proceedings, the High Court Judge declined to do so. Justice Corbin-Lincoln said the Court was not satisfied that it ought to exercise its discretion in favour of granting the interim release.
The Judge reasoned that to grant an interim order requiring the State to bear the cost of the COVID-19 PCR tests pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter will do no more than to bring further confusion to what the applicants contend is already a confusing situation.
“I am therefore not satisfied that the Court’s discretion ought to be exercised in favour of making such an order,” she iterated.
Justice Corbin-Lincoln said while the applicants have given evidence to the inconvenience and challenges suffered as a result of the implementation of the vaccination requirement, the Court did not find any evidence which suggests that there would be irreparable damage done if the interim orders are not granted.
“In my view, it would not be in the interest of stability of the public to grant an interim injunction restraining the government from implementing any future or even the existing vaccination measures when it is yet to be determined whether or not the President acted ultra-virus,” the judge ruled.
The FDA will be heard at a later date.