And then there is the application for order of mandamus. On Tuesday December 30th Matura Sheppard on behalf of Lucilo Teck, again visited the court this time to file for the order of mandamus. If upheld by the court this would force the Sugar Industry Control Board to set a date for the commencement of the 2014/2015 crop season.

 

It is a complicated situation since there are those who believe including CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture Jose Alpuche, that the SICB, a government entity, cannot declare the start of crop without consulting with the miller and the producer.


And even if the order of mandamus is upheld and SICB is forced to set a date for crop, there is the notion that BSI cannot be forced to open its gates. But Teck’s attorney says the factory can be forced to start milling under the same order of mandamus.


Carmelita Perez- Reporter


“If the court gives that order to the SICB to set a date for the commencement of crop, automatically that passes on to BSI, does BSI have to comply with the courts order or you would have to take BSI to court in order for them to open the gates of the factory and receive cane.”


Screen_Shot_2015-01-02_at_8.17.47_PMAudrey Matura-Shepherd- CWU President


“I am glad you asked that question because outright I am telling you that Mr. Jose Alpuche is lying he may have lied unintentionally or intentionally. Why do is say that I have right here in my hands the law which states clearly that the board must fix the date in respect of each crop year after consultation with the manufactures and the committee there periods known as the grinding season during which the manufactures in this case BSI/ASR shall accept deliveries from growers and cane farmers. The reason why we made the case against the board and we brought in BSI as an interested party is so that they may be aware that we are seeking an order of mandamus against a public official and when we get that order then they must obey the law and the law is clear that they must accept deliveries and if they don’t then the law also empowers the board to deal with the them and that is what we want to see if the board which is autonomous and has the backing of GOB would ever make sure that the big manufacturer does not disrespect our laws.”


But unlike the injunction Shepherd says the order of mandamus will not be suspended even if cane farmers agree to the commercial agreement since the record needs to be set straight once and for all.


Audrey Matura-Shepherd- CWU President


“Under the mandamus we are telling the SICB that it has to do what the law requires it to do which is to set a date and they could have done that and the date they should have set based on all the evidence we have been gathered should have been December 8th, we are telling the court that they should do that but let’s say they decide to get smart and decide to set the date anyway they will set it now, they won’t wait for the case that is good, what we will still do is to go back to the court and ask the court to give a declaration as to the meaning of the law, we call it a case stated where you are not fighting against anything or anybody anymore but because there is ambiguity and uncertainty as to what the law means we can go to the court and say clear this up for us once and for all so that comes next year, next crop season we don’t have this same nonsense.”


It is expected that the case for the mandamus order will be heard sometime next week.

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