GHRA continues to ‘masquerade’ as exemplary civil society organisation, has not filed annual returns since 1979 – Attorney general
The defunct Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) which has been masquerading as an exemplary civil society organisation, continues to deceive the nation as it relates to its legitimacy. Contrary to the organisation’s claim of having all its “ducks in a row” the company has been not been in good standing for nearly three decades.
In a press statement dated the 20th March 2023, the organisation categorically stated that they have all their “ducks in a row as far as routine legal and financial matters are concerned.” This was in response to a statement penned by the Hon. Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, which exposed the organisation as a sham and highlighted its partisan practice.
However, records prove that the organisation, which was incorporated on the 27th of September 1979, is not in Good Standing for failing to file its Annual Returns since incorporation. The Company has failed to apply for Continuance under Part IV, Division B of the Companies Act and therefore owes the State some $38,649,600.
Section 336 (1) of the Companies Act states that every former-Act Company shall within two years after the commencement of the Act (a) apply to the Registrar for a certificate of continuance under this Act; and (b) comply with the requirement of section 9. The commencement date of the Companies Act is September 27, 1991.
In accordance with Section 342 of the Act, when a former-Act company fails to apply to the Registrar for a certificate of continuation within the time limited therefor under Section 336, then, after expiration of that period (a) the former-Act company may not, without leave, sue in any court but may be made a defendant to a suit; (b) no dividend shall be paid to any shareholder of the former-Act company; and (c) every director or manager of the former-Act company shall be liable to a penalty of six hundred dollars ($600) a day for each day during which the former-Act company carries on its undertaking thereafter.
From the date of failing to apply to the registrar for a certificate of continuance to end-February 2023, twenty-nine (29) years, and five months (5) would have elapsed. From the time of its incorporation, the company has had six (6) subscribers.
The calculation of the penalty for GHRA is as follows:
6 subscribers x $600 per day = $3,600 per day for all subscribers
$3,600 x 365 days per year = $1,314,000 penalty for one (1) year
$1,314,000 x 29 years = $38,106,000 for 29 years
October 2022 (31 days) – $3,600 x 31 = $111,600
November 2022 (30 days) – $3,600 x 30 = $108,000
December 2022 (31 days) – $3,600 x 31 = $111,600
January 2023 (31 days) – $3,600 x 31 = $111, 600
February 2023 (28 days) – $3,600 x 28 = $100,800
Total = $38,649,600
For context, according to Section 25 (6) of the Act, a former-Act company is one that was (a) incorporated under Part I of the former-Act; (b) registered pursuant to section 16 of the former-Act; or (c) incorporated or registered under the Companies Ordinance, 1864 or 1898. Meanwhile, ‘former-Act’ means the Companies Act immediately in force before the commencement of the Companies Act which commencement is dated September 27, 1991.
The delinquent state of this organisation further reinforces the government’s position that it neither has the legitimacy nor moral standing to pass judgment of any type on any given issue as it arrogantly does.