A Supreme Court judge, Justice Jones Victor Mawulorm Dotse, has described delays by judicial service workers to slow down legal processes as “Public Service Mentality.”
His comment followed the failure of bailiffs to serve parties in a case brought before the Supreme Court for adjudication on time.
The court documents ought to have been served on the parties on time, but this was not done, even though the judges had received theirs long time ago.
Justice Dotse was not happy about this poor attitude on the part of public servants, since it elongates and delays justice.
The bailiffs were to serve the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Attorney-General’s Department, and the Judicial Service for the start of proceedings of a suit filed by Centre for Juvenile Delinquency over the introduction of the Tax Identification Number (TIN).
As a result of the mishap, counsel for the parties could not prepare adequately enough to enable the court to start the case.
They (counsel), therefore, prayed the court for an adjournment.
Justice Dotse and other members of the bench were not happy about the development, but agreed to adjourn the case to October 18, 2018.
The seven-member panel, presided over by Justice Sophia Ophelia Adjeibea Adinyira, was also not happy about the conduct of the GRA, as the counsel, Mrs. Joyce Ampah, said her office could not locate certain documents required for the legal process, and that the counsel in-charge of the case was out of the jurisdiction.
Mrs. Ampah explained to the court that though she is part of the legal department of the GRA, she was not at the headquarters.
The judges were, however, not satisfied with the alibi, arguing that public administration is not a sole proprietorship, where one person’s absence should affect operations.
The GRA, Attorney-General’s Department and the Judicial Service have been sued by the Centre for Juvenile Delinquency, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), over the introduction of the Tax Identification Number (TIN).
The Centre for Juvenile Delinquency is seeking a declaration by the Supreme Court that one does not need a TIN in order to file a case at the court.
The GRA indicated that an individual cannot file a case at the court, among other things, without a TIN.
The NGO is praying the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the GRA, Attorney General and Judicial Service, as well as their servants, agents or assigns, “from doing anything to prevent any person(s) from filing processes in any court in Ghana on grounds that the person did not quote his/her Taxpayer Identification Number issued under the Taxpayer Identification Number System of the 1st Defendant (GRA).”