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22.11.2007 General News

CHRAJ has no authority to investigate without complaint - AG

By GNA
CHRAJ has no authority to investigate without complaint - AG


The Attorney General, Mr. Joe Ghartey says the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has no right to investigate a matter without a formal complaint.

The issue of what constitutes a complaint and whether or not CHRAJ can investigate a matter without a formal complaint formed the basis for a Supreme Court sitting on Wednesday November 21, 2007.

The CHRAJ had investigated and found former transport minister Richard Anane guilty of conflict of interest, abuse of power and purgery without a formal complaint.

Mr. Anane however, went to court to seek court orders to overturn the Commission's decision. An Accra Fast Track High Court subsequently ruled against the CHRAJ and quashed all the adverse findings made by it against Mr. Anane because CHRAJ did not receive a formal complaint against him.

According to the Attorney General who was invited to assist in the determination of the case, CHRAJ is not empowered by the constitution to investigate a matter without a complainant.
This view was also highlighted by lawyers for the former transport minister.

The Commission's counsel, Nene Amegatse, however disagreed with both positions insisting that CHRAJ acted perfectly within its mandate.

The Supreme Court has fixed the 21st of December to rule on the matter.

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