Sharma v. The Registrar to the Integrity Commission & Anor (Trinidad and Tobago )  UKPC 42 (20 June 2007)
Privy Council Appeal No 72 of 2006
Chandresh Sharma Appellant
The Registrar to the Integrity Commission
and another Respondent
THE COURT OF APPEAL OF
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
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JUDGMENT OF THE LORDS OF THE JUDICIAL
COMMITTEE OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL
Delivered the 20th June 2007
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Present at the hearing:-
Lord Bingham of Cornhill
Lord Hope of Craighead
Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers
Lord Rodger of Earlsferry
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[Delivered by Lord Hope of Craighead]
The 2000 Act
"(1) A person shall, within three months of becoming a person in public life, complete and file with the Commission in the prescribed form, a declaration of his income, assets and liabilities in respect of the previous year and, thereafter, on 31st May in each succeeding year that he is a person in public life, he shall file further declarations of his income, assets and liabilities.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-section (1), the Commission may, in any particular case, for good cause, extend the time for the furnishing of a declaration for a period not exceeding six months.
(3) The declaration shall be in such form as the Commission may from time to time prescribe and may be accompanied, if the declarant so wishes, by a statement relating to his net worth as indicated by details of his income, assets and liabilities.
(6) Where a person who is required to do so fails to file a declaration in accordance with this section or without reasonable cause, … fails to file the statement of registrable interests under section 14, the Commission shall publish such fact in the Gazette and a least one daily newspaper in circulation in Trinidad and Tobago.
(7) The Commission may, at any time after the publication referred to in subsection (6), make an ex parte application to the High Court for an order directing such person to comply with the Act and the Court may, in addition to making such an order, impose such conditions as it thinks fit.
(8) A person who fails to comply with the directions of the Court commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars."
"(1) A person in public life shall file with his declaration under section 11, an additional statement of registrable interests in the prescribed form, which shall contain the information required by subsection (3).
(2) The Registrar of the Commission shall compile and cause to be entered in a Register of Interests, all information furnished pursuant to subsection (1) and shall at the request of any member of the public, permit the inspection of such Register.
"(1) The Commission may make Regulations prescribing –
(a) the manner in which enquiries may be carried out and any matters incidental to or consequential upon such enquiries;
(b) the standard or criteria for the initiation of such inquiries;
(c) the manner in which information received from the public would be assessed and verified;
(d) the form of declaration to be submitted and any additional forms which have been prescribed or which may become necessary;
(e) the period within which any information or document required by the Commission should be furnished or produced;
(f) the fees that are payable by members of the public in respect of a certified copy of a public declaration statement and the manner in which such statements may be made available;
(g) any matter or thing in respect of which it may be necessary to make Regulations for carrying this Act into effect.
(2) Regulations made under subsection (1) shall be subject to the affirmative resolution of Parliament."
"By this press notice, persons in public life are reminded of their obligations under the Act to file declarations and statements of registrable interests with the Integrity Commission.
Acting in accordance with section 11(2) of the Act, the Integrity Commission has extended the time for furnishing declarations and statements of registrable interests for the years 2002 & 2003 to 15 August 2004 in both instances."
There followed a table "to assist persons in determining their filing obligations". It identified the due dates for filing for persons in the following categories:
(a) Persons holding office at 12 December 2003 and continuing for any period in 2004: for 2002, 15 August 2004; for 2003, 15 August 2004; for 2004, 31 May 2005.
(b) Persons becoming persons in public life between 1 January 2004 and the date of the notice: for 2003, 15 August 2004; for 2004, 31 May 2005.
(c) Persons becoming persons in public life in 2004 at any time after the date of the notice: for 2003, within three months of becoming a person in public life; for 2004, 31 May 2005.
"The Integrity Commission now wishes to advise that based on advice it has since received, persons in public life are not required to file Declarations and Statements of Registrable Interests for the year 2002. However all other filing requirements remain as published and are restated below."
There then followed a fresh table which was in the same terms as that which was published on 12 March 2004, except for the omission of the requirement that persons holding office at 12 December 2003 and continuing for any period in 2004 were to file declarations and statements for 2002 by 15 August 2004. The Registrar wrote to everyone who had already been asked to complete declarations and statements informing them that they were not required to file these documents for the year 2002.
The filing issue
The regulations issue
The costs issue