Thursday, December 4, 2008


The Newsday and the Express of December 4th both carry the story of Bhagirath Parmanan, the elderly gentleman who won his lawsuit against the state after he was roughed up by police officers several years ago.
The court awarded him damages too, but we aren't quite sure how much. The Newsday's headline confidently trumpeted "Man awarded $72,000 for wrongful arrest and detention", while the Express had "$100,000 for police 'rough up'".

The Newsday's Laurel Williams told us "The judge, after hearing attorneys for Parmanan and the State, ordered that general damages of $18,000 should be paid to Parmanan. Six per cent interest must be paid on that sum from November, 27, 2004 when the lawsuit was filed. The judge also awarded him $1,176.39 at the rate of three percent from February 4, 2002.
"It was further ordered by Justice Shah that the State pay Parmanan $10,000 as damages for false imprisonment, at the rate of six percent.
"For malicious prosecution, the State was ordered to pay Parmanan $25,000 with interest at the rate of six percent from November 2004. Special damages were awarded in the sum of $3,250."

Now Laurel, we are assuming that you gave your readers the breakdown in figures then calculated it all and came up with $72,000. But your counterpart Keino Swamber at the Express chose not to give us a breakdown. Instead, he gave the full figure of $100,000, and wrote "Bhagirath Parmanan, is expected to receive the money, with interest, as compensation for assault and battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and legal costs." This is actually a lot easier on the eye, especially if you don't have a lot of time to sit and calculate the figures for yourself. Maybe Keino gave a rough estimate so he wouldn't have to do the calculations himself?

But the question still remains, how much was Mr Parmanan really awarded? $72,000 or $100,000? We used Laurel's breakdown to do a rough calculation and came up with just over $71,000; close enough to her figure. So maybe the problem is with Keino's calculation?
It should not be left up to the reader to guess.