Thakur Persad Jaroo v Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago: PC 4 Feb 2002

(Trinidad and Tobago) The appellant sought a declaration that his constitutional rights had been infringed. He had bought a car. When told it may be stolen, he took it to the police station, but after he heard nothing and it was not returned. He alleged that he had been deprived of his property in breach of the constitution. Only later did the police say it was still required as potential evidence. He claimed that the car had been held other than under due process.
Held: To justify the continued detention of the car, the police had to show that there were reasonable grounds for its original and continuing retention. There were common law rights, by way of an originating motion, which the claimant could have exercised to make his complaint. He should take the method of constitutional challenge only in an exceptional case. This was not one, and the continued action was an abuse of process. Lord Hope of Craighead: ‘Their Lordships wish to emphasise that the originating motion procedure under section 14(1) is appropriate for use in cases where facts are not in dispute and questions of law only are in issue. It is wholly unsuitable in cases which depend for their decision on the resolution of disputes as to fact. Disputes of that kind must be resolved by using the procedures which are available in the ordinary courts under the common law.’
Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Browne-Wilkinson, Lord Scott of Foscote, Sir Christopher Slade and Sir Andrew Leggatt
Times 06-Feb-2002, Appeal No 54 of 2000, [2002] UKPC 5, [2002] 1 AC 871
PC, Bailii
Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago 4(a)
CitedNankissoon Boodram v Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago PC 19-Feb-1996
The court considered the effect of prejudicial reporting on a trial: ‘In a case such as this, the publications either will or will not prove to have been so harmful that when the time for the trial arrives the techniques available to the trial judge . .
CitedGhani v Jones CA 1970
The court was asked as to the powers of the police to retain objects taken and impounded.
Held: The privacy and possessions of an individual were not to be invaded except for the most compelling reasons.
Lord Denning MR said: ‘Balancing . .

Cited by:
CitedSettelen and Another v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis ChD 29-Sep-2004
The claimants had made application for tapes held by the respondent to be released. The claimant offered undertakings as to their preservation, and agreement had been reached. The outstanding issue was as to costs. The tapes were recorded by the . .
CitedNaidike, Naidike and Naidike v The Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago PC 12-Oct-2004
(Trinidad and Tobago) The claimant was arrested following expiry of the last of his work permits and after he had failed to provide evidence of his intention to leave. As he was arrested he was also arrested for assaulting a police officer. He was . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 15 March 2021; Ref: scu.167566