Summary of Feizal Mohamed Amin, trading under the name, style and firm of Amin Lumber Enterprise Appellant v Guyana Oil Company Ltd, a company incorporated in Guyana under the Companies Act Chapter 89:01 and continued under the Companies Act 1991 with its registered office situate at Lot 166 Waterloo Street, Georgetown Respondent

JurisdictionCaribbean States
CourtCaribbean Court of Justice
Judgment Date08 May 2014
Neutral Citation[2014] CCJ 10 AJ
Docket NumberCCJ Appeal No. CV014 of 2013

IN THE CARIBBEAN COURT OF JUSTICE

Appellate Jurisdiction

ON APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEAL OF GUYANA

CCJ Appeal No. CV014 of 2013

GY Appeal No. 39 of 2010

Between
Feizal Mohamed Amin, trading under the name, style and firm of Amin Lumber Enterprise
Appellant
and
Guyana Oil Company Limited, a company incorporated in Guyana under the Companies Act Chapter 89:01 and continued under the Companies Act 1991 with its registered office situate at Lot 166 Waterloo Street, Georgetown
Respondent

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1

On 12 December 2005, by way of a specially indorsed writ, Guyana Oil Company Limited (‘Guyoil’) initiated legal proceedings against Mr Amin claiming $101,280,423.00 allegedly owed to it for petroleum products supplied between 7 September and 28 September 2005. Mr Amin denied Guyoil's allegations and stated that all amounts owing to the company had been liquidated and paid. Guyoil replied with an affidavit to which it exhibited a letter signed by Mr Amin (the ‘admission letter’) in which he admitted owing Guyoil the sum of $97,609,000.00. Mr Amin responded with an explanation for his writing of the admission letter, indicating that he wrote it as a result of economic coercion. The dispute proceeded to trial on the merits.

2

The trial judge gave judgment for Mr Amin and dismissed the claim with costs. The judge considered the weight, if any, to be given to the contents of the admission letter. The judge concluded that since it had merely been marked for identification he could not consider the truth of its contents and so it was of no evidential value. The trial judge proceeded to find fatal flaws in the oral and documentary evidence presented by Guyoil in support of its claim. The judge accordingly dismissed the claim. Dissatisfied with the trial judge's decision, Guyoil appealed to the Court of Appeal.

3

The Court of Appeal was primarily concerned with whether the judge was right to have given Mr Amin leave to defend since, in the view of that court, Mr Amin had no reasonable grounds of defence. Save for its criticism of the non-admission into evidence of the admission letter, the Court of Appeal did not evaluate other aspects of the trial judge's assessment and conclusions on the merits of the case. The Court of Appeal rejected Mr Amin's explanation for writing the admission letter and the court ultimately set aside the judgment of the trial judge and gave judgment to Guyoil in the full sum claimed of $101,280,423.00, together with...

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