CCJ Corner: CCJ Rules In Gas Station Dispute

Feizal Mohamed Amin v Guyana Oil Company Ltd [2014] CCJ 10(AJ)

By Kara Graham: Norman Manley Law School

Mr. Feizal Mohamed Amin (‘Mr.Amin’), a gas station owner, had an agreement with Guyana Oil Company Ltd (‘Guyoil’), for Guyoil to supply him with petroleum and petroleum products. Guyoil claimed that between September 5 and September 28, 2005, Mr Amin failed to pay them for goods delivered to the value of GUY$101,280,423.

Mr Amin argued that he had paid all his debts to Guyoil and set out to challenge the accuracy of the alleged debt. In response Guyoil produced a letter written and signed by Amin in which he admitted that he owed Guyoil the sum of GUY$97,609,000 and would pay that sum as soon as possible. Mr Amin readily admitted that he did in fact write this letter, but he stated that it was written as a result of ‘economic coercion’. He argued that he was intimidated into signing the letter because Guyoil indicated that he would have to confess to some indebtedness if he were to continue receiving their products.

As with any other legal case, producing evidence is crucial and this letter would prove to be the piece of evidence which was instrumental in the final outcome of this case.

CCJ-building

The CCJ held that the letter could be accepted as proof of the debt. The Court focused its attention on a number of factors such as the fact that Mr. Amin never once challenged the contents of the letter and the fact that the explanation as to why it was written in the first place was not sufficiently believable. The CCJ therefore found in favour of Guyoil. However the Court ordered that Guyoil only be paid $97,609,000.00, the amount admitted in the letter, rather than the entire sum claimed by Guyoil.

This summary is intended to assist the Caribbean public in learning more about the work of the CCJ. It is not a formal document of the Court. The judgment of the Court is the only authoritative document and may be found here.

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