General News Wed, 21 Nov 2007

Supreme Court to rule on CHRAJ's case on Dec 21

Accra, Nov. 21 GNA - The Supreme Court would on December 21, rule on the case in which the Commission for Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) is seeking an interpretation on whether the commission had powers to investigate issues publish in the media without a formal complainant.

The suit also included Mr Joe Ghartey, Attorney General and Minister of Justice as party to the case.

The court which empanelled five Supreme Court Justices - The Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, Mr Justice Stephen Brobbey, Dr. Justice Kofi Date-Baah, Mr Justice Julius Ansah and Mr Justice Aninakwah adjourned the case to Dec. 21, 2007.

Nene Amegatcher, lead Counsel for CHRAJ in his submission contended that the Commission had powers under Articles 218 and 230 of the 1992 constitution to investigate issues published in the media with or without a formal complaint.

He said the provisions under Article 218 did not limit the jurisdiction of the Commission to investigate formal complaint only. He prayed the court to give a purposeful interpretation of the case since under Article 218, the Commission did not require formal complainant to investigate any issue published in the media. Mr Joseph Kwesi Agyemang, lead Counsel for Dr Richard Anane told the court his client had complied with the court's order to file their statement of case.

He said Article 218 of the 1992 constitution was definite on the functions of CHRAJ and the issues that it could investigate under the said provision.

He said CHRAJ was an inferior court and as such could not arrogate to itself certain powers that it did not have. "CHRAJ should not behave like a Policeman who goes about arresting people on mere suspicion" he added. Mr Agyemang also insisted that under Article 218, there should be a formal compliant before CHRAJ could investigate issues published in the media.

Mr Joe Ghartey, in his submission prayed the court to give the literal meaning of Article 218 under the 1992 constitution. He said the powers of CHRAJ under Article 164 were in furtherance of 218 and not a contravention of it.

Source: GNA