Petrotrin Ordered to Disclose Gas Leak Report

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A HIGH Court judge has ordered Petrotrin to disclose a report by an investigative team into an incident two years ago when a group of workers was exposed to hydrogen sulfide gas at a rig.

In his ruling Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh urged public authorities to become familiar with the case law on freedom of information requests. He said they should pay particular attention to the principles of accountability, good governance and transparency.

Boodoosingh said, “In turn, more accountability, good governance and greater transparency ultimately result in a more just and equal society.”

The case was brought against Petrotrin by former casual worker Gabriel Jacob after an incident on September 21, 2017.

Jacob was denied access to the report by Petrotrin which said disclosure was protected by legal professional privilege.

Petrotrin has ten days in which to make the report available.

Boodoosingh said, “This was an escape of a toxic gas into the environment. Toxic gas travels. There may be persons in the community who were affected or who may be interested to know what took place in their community

“The protection of the environment is a strong public interest factor which favours disclosure to which every member of the public has a legitimate interest in.

“Disclosure promotes accountability and transparency.”

Jacob was represented by Anand Ramlogan, SC, Alvin Pariagsingh, Che Dindial and Robert Abdool-Mitchell. Russell Martineau, SC, Amirah Rahaman and Marcelle Ferdinand appeared for Petrotrin.


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