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Nov 2, 2009

Flores Bus Company injunction hearing starts in court

Story PictureA hearing started today behind closed doors on a one-month suspension by the Transport Board against Flores Bus Line which covers the runs between Lord’s Bank and Belize City. The bus company, one of three operating that route, filed an injunction last week through its attorney, Hubert Elrington, since that suspension would have run right into the expiration of their license. The arguments started today before Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh. Chief Transport Officer, Candelaria Saldivar offered no comment at the close of the hearing today while attorney Hubert Elrington on behalf of Flores Bus Line, explained where the arguments are leading.

Hubert Elrington, Attorney for Flores Bus Line
“If the one month suspension had taken effect, he would not only have lost the last month of his permit to run, but he would have been out without any permit at all because it would have expired. So he ran to the court and asked the court for its help and he got an interim injunction to prevent them from carrying through the suspension and for giving him an opportunity to have his grievance heard by the court. So last week the Attorney General’s office made an application that the interim relief be set aside and that the permission that was granted for the court to review the decision-making process of the Transport Board to see if they had acted properly under the law, they asked that the court set aside that permission. And today that was argued before the Chief Justice and it was pointed out to them that under our rules no provision exists for making that kind of application; that it had to be brought, if at all, under the inherent jurisdiction of the court. The Chief Justice pointed out to them further that if they brought it under the inherent jurisdiction, it was only in the rarest of cases that such permission to go to judicial review would be cancelled or revoked. What they were putting forward did not bring them within the rule at all so they came with very little preparation and with the weakest of argument. So the matter will go forward, I think it is on the seventeenth or eighteenth of November. The full hearing will be done then.”

Elrington says that Flores Bus Line has voluntarily interrupted runs for a few days in an effort to assist the Transport Board sort out the problem with the other bus company separating the three companies who do commercial business between Lord’s Bank and Belize City.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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