TRINIDAD & TOBAGO — A police blunder is one of the reasons why the charge of driving while drunk involving High Court judge, Justice Kevin Ramcharan, was on Thursday adjourned to July 3, the Trinidad Express reported.
According to court officials, PC Romany of the Belmont Police Station charged Ramcharan under a non-existent section of the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act.
Ramcharan, one of the youngest judges sitting in the Supreme Court, who made headlines last year following a series of sexually-charged social media posts, is currently on $15,000 bail, after being charged with driving under the influence on Saturday night during which there was a collision between his Range Rover and another vehicle in Maraval, the Express said.
The Trinidad Guardian, also reporting on the case, said officers of the St Clair Police Station arrested and charged Ramcharan at around 11 pm on Saturday for driving under the influence of alcohol after his red Land Rover SUV crashed into another vehicle at Saddle Road, Maraval.
The judge was administered a breathalyser test and found to be over the legal limit, police said.
The 43-year-old judge, according to the Guardian, took to Twitter after the incident posting, “Have to take stock of my life and the foolishness I am doing.”
It is not the first time the judge has been the centre of public attention, the Guardian said. Shortly after his appointment, in April 2017, he was highlighted by another daily newspaper for social media postings which made comments about women’s bodies and pornography.
The judge has been involved in some recent high-profile legal matters, including the challenge by the Fishermen and Friends of the Sea against the EMA over the issuance of the Certificate of Environmental Clearance in the Aripo Savannas for a highway project.
He was also the judge hearing a matter involving CLICO.
Legal sources was reported as telling Guardian Media that the Judicial and Legal Services Commission will only get involved only after the judge appears in court to answer the charge of drunk driving. Chief Justice Ivor Archie, who appointed the judge last April, is out of the country and not due back until the end of the month.
The judge was appointed along with the then former Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar and former Magistrate Avason Quinlan- Williams. Ayers-Caesar subsequently resigned in the midst of a controversy over leaving 53 cases unfinished in the Magistrates Court. That matter is now before the courts after Ayres-Caesar claimed she was coerced to resign.
The appointments, according to the Guardian, drew criticism from attorneys, including the Law Association which noted that the relative secrecy in which appointments to the Judiciary are currently made has the potential to encourage suspicion and amplify disquiet especially in the darkness of a vacuum of information.