Grenada Electricity Services Limited (‘Grenlec’) is pleased with the recent decision of Mr. Justice Raulston Glasgow, sitting in the High Court of Grenada, which was delivered on 3 May 2019.
The decision refuses the application by the Government of Grenada for a stay of the Constitutional Claim brought by Grenlec against the Government.
On 12 February 2018, Grenlec filed a Constitutional Claim challenging the constitutionality of section 20 of the Electricity Supply (Amendment) Act 2017. By that section of the Act, the Government has legislated that “Every network licensee shall contribute five percent of its pre-tax profit every financial year to the Social Fund.” As Grenlec is the only network licensee, this means that Grenlec alone is required to pay this 5% into a Social Fund controlled by the Government.
The Government then filed an application in the High Court of Grenada on 26 June 2018 asking the Court to stay Grenlec’s Constitutional Claim. Government stated that its basis for requesting a delay is the ongoing arbitration proceedings between Government and GPP/WRB (Grenlec’s majority shareholder) The arbitration is before ICSID (the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes) arising from the Government’s enactment of the 2016 Electricity Supply Act.
Mr. Justice Glasgow, in substance, rejected the Government’s arguments that Grenlec’s Constitutional Claim had any legal connection with the arbitration proceedings. This means that Grenlec’s Constitutional Claim will proceed to a full trial. Accordingly, on 10 May 2019, the High Court gave further directions for the conduct of the Claim and the trial date has been fixed for 9 July 2019.
Speaking about the court’s decision, Collin Cover, Grenlec’s General Manager said, “It is well known that Grenlec already operates its Grenlec Community Partnership Initiative (GCPI), through which the shareholders of Grenlec have been contributing 5% of the Company’s pre-tax profits to charitable causes. Like other corporate citizens, our Company wants to continue making a difference through this proven GCPI Programme, which we have worked hard at ensuring is impartial”.
Through the Grenlec Community Partnership Initiative, more than $22 million dollars have been invested since 1995, touching countless lives and communities throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.