Queen’s College Principal Wins Important Court Case
The Chief Justice has ruled that the retired Headmistress of Queen’s College must retain that position and not be demoted to that of deputy. The Chief Justice quashed the decision of the Minister of education made last year terminating the tenure of principal of the Queen’s College
The Minister of Education last year decided to demote the Headmistress following the death of a former student of the school Neesa Gopaul. Gopaul’s body was found stuffed in suitcase in a murder that shocked the nation. Her mother and her mother’s paramour are before the court for the murder.
The Ministry of Education claimed that it conducted an investigation into the reasons behind Gopaul dropping out of School during the academic year 2009. As a result of the investigation the Minister moved to discipline the Principal of the school for not reporting the absence of Gopaul from the school.
The Chief Justice Ian Chang ruled based on court action brought by Attorney Anil Nandalall for the QC headmistress Freidal Isaacs that although the Act allows the Minister to revoke the appointment of Principal, the exercise of that power must be done in conformity with the principles of Natural Justice. The Court went on to declare that the challenge was not to the lawfulness of the Report but to the legality of the decision of the Minister himself.
The Court ruled that the Minister of Education is mandated to take all necessary steps and to do all necessary things to restore the applicant Freidal Isaacs to the status of Principal of Queen’s College retired. The Minister of Education also has to pay costs.
The ruling would mean that Isaacs who was about to retire when she was demoted would be entitled to her benefits at the higher level of Principal as against those accruing to the position of Deputy Principal.