Dismissed Central Bank Governor threatens to take legal action

Jwala Rambarran

Dismissed Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran has threatened to take legal action , arguing that due process of law was not followed in his removal from the post last week.

“Having regard to the economic and democratic importance of the independent position of the Governor of the Central Bank and the intense public interest surrounding my removal, I believe it is my duty to place my preliminary views on these matters into the public domain,” he explained in a  two-page statement on Saturday.

According to Rambarran, he only became aware of his termination through an online media report.

The former Governor said the instrument of his revocation dated Wednesday, December 23 and under the hand and seal of Acting President Christine Kangaloo was received by him at about 6.30 pm on Thursday, December 24.

“At that point, I had not received the courtesy or formality of being officially informed, (one) that the Acting President was supposedly considering my removal from office; (two) of any purported reason or rationale for my removal from office; and (three) that the referral of such a complaint was even being contemplated by Cabinet,” he noted.

“Secondly, at no point in time did the President and/or Acting President, who is entrusted with the sole discretion to effect the termination of my appointment as Governor, contact me to solicit my views on any purported allegations or complaints.

Indeed, to date, I am still not aware of the contents of Cabinet documents and supporting material that were sent to the Acting President.” Rambarran noted that consequently any such decision taken by the Acting President resulting in his removal “has been taken without my participation and to my complete exclusion, thereby depriving me of a fair, reasonable or any opportunity to make representations to correct or contradict any purported allegations against me”.

Rambarran stated that he is consulting with his lawyers “Who have already expressed their concerns with respect to the complete failure of Cabinet and/or the Acting President to abide by due process of law.”

Last week Cabinet wrote Kangaloo recommending Rambarran’s employment be terminated due to his disclosure of the names of the largest users of foreign exchange in Trinidad and Tobago.

Rambarran, who was appointed in July 2013 and had about a year and a half left on his five-year term, has since been replaced by Dr Alvin Hilaire, one of two Deputy Governors of the Central Bank.

In a statement last week, Finance Minister Colm Imbert reported that Cabinet took the decision in accordance with Sections 12(e) and 12(g) of the Central Bank Act. Section 12(e) gives the President the authority to fire the Governor if he is “guilty of misconduct in relation to his duties.” Section 12 (g) provides grounds for the Governor’s dismissal if he or she, “fails to carry out any of the duties or functions conferred or imposed on him under this Act.”

 

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