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Case details

Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago (Respondent) v Harridath Maharaj (Appellant) (Trinidad and Tobago)

Case ID: JCPC 2021/0046

Jurisdiction: Curt of Appeal of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Case summary

Issue

Whether the Court of Appeal was correct in setting aside the trial judge’s finding that the Respondent was liable for the malicious prosecution of the Appellant

Facts

This appeal concerns a claim for malicious prosecution against the Respondent. The Appellant was arrested on 16 June 2004 and subsequently prosecuted by the Respondent for two summary offences of felling and removing timber without a permit. On 13 November 2007 the charges were dismissed by the Magistrate upon a submission of no case to answer. The Appellant was therefore acquitted. The Appellant issued a claim of malicious prosecution against the Respondent. The Appellant claimed that the Respondent, via his servants and/or agents, had no reasonable basis on which to charge him and the prosecution was animated by malice, including that the Respondent had done so in order to cover up illegal felling of trees.

On 15 March 2016 the High Court found the Respondent liable and awarded the Appellant aggravated damages, exemplary damages and special damages. On 1 July 2020, the Court of Appeal allowed the Respondent’s appeal. The Court found that the trial judge had made material errors, and there was no absence of reasonable and probable cause for the prosecution. The Court also found that the circumstances of the case did not establish malice. The Appellant now appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Harridath Maharaj

Respondent(s)

Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago

Appeal

Justices

Lord Briggs, Lord Kitchin, Lord Burrows, Lady Rose, Lord Richards

Hearing start date

1 February 2023

Hearing finish date

1 February 2023