Attorney tells THA education secretary: ‘You’ve been served’
Attorney Martin George said he is 100 per cent certain that the Division of Education, Innovation and Energy has been served court documents relating to a legal challenge by maxi taxi concessionaires.
The concessionaires claim they are being discriminated against based on age and other issues and being offered only two-year contracts, despite serving for almost 30 years. Attorney Janelle Ramsaroop of Martin George and Company, threatened in a September pre-action protocol letter to initiate High Court action against the division and PTSC for judicial review of a decision to distribute “unreasonable and unfair” school transport contracts among the 31 operators in their individual capacities.
However, last week Education Secretary Kelvin Charles told the media, “I have received no court documents relating to that matter.”
In a WhatsApp voice note to Newsday, George said, “Martin George and Company have noted with interest the statements by secretary Kelvin Charles to the effect he’s not aware of any court documents that we served in the judicial review matter. Those papers were served on the THA in October and they were signed for and we have evidence of the service.”
George advised the secretary, “Maybe Mr Charles needs to look within himself, look within his division or look within the THA to find where the documents are. We have it signed for and received so there is no doubt whatsoever they were served.”
George said if the Division of Education is not present in court they will press ahead.
“We have been following up with court and we will be seeking to ask a judge to grant the order ex parte, in terms of our application for leave for judicial review against the THA in relation to the issue of the renewal of the maxi taxi concessionaires’ contracts for school children.”
Charles told the media last week, discussions are ongoing with the school transport concessionaires.
Charles denied the division was ending its relationship with the maxi taxi drivers and letting PTSC take over.
“We are not handing over any group to anyone, what subsists at this point in time is an arrangement that always existed, what we are trying to do is to tighten the arrangement so as to ensure that the maxi taxi concessionaires are not disadvantaged as well as to facilitate timely payment for their services,” he said.
BY: STEPHON NICHOLAS