MR. M. MUNTAZ ALI

Barrister at Law (Middle Temple, London)

Attorney-at-Law

Guyana

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Mohamed Muntaz Ali was born on the 12 day of October 1931 at Georgetown, Guyana. He attended the Modern Educational Institute during the period 1943 to 1948. He was successful at the School Certificate Examination of the University of Cambridge placing first place and gaining exemption from the London University Matriculation Examination.

M. Muntaz Ali then attended the then British Guiana Commercial Academy during the period 1949 - 1950. He was successful at the Institute of Commerce Book-keeping and Accounts and the London Chamber of Commerce Certificate stage.  

Middle Temple London

M. Muntaz Ali travelled to England. He was admitted to the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, London on the 13 March 1951 where he successfully completed the Bar examination in the Hilary Term 1954.

Council of Legal Education London

After completing the Bar finals in London, M. Muntaz Ali attended the Post Final Practical Course conducted by the Council of Legal Education, London. The Course was designed to give rigorous training in practical professional work at least equivalent in extent and quality to the training provided by reading in Chambers. The duties required of the members of the Course included the drafting of professional documents, attendance in Courts, the performance of exercises in advocacy and of certain other exercises which the Council deemed suitable for the preliminary training of a Barrister at Law. At the end of the course, Mr. Paul Tyrie, Barrister-at-Law, the Master Tutor reported as follows:

"Mr. Muntaz Ali was one of the best all round students in this Course. He has a quick and able mind and his paper work was intelligent, careful and well prepared. His advocacy was strong, forcible but tactful. He has a very pleasing and gentlemanly personality: and I think he ought to do well in practice."

Barrister at Law over 50 years

M. Muntaz Ali was admitted to practice as a Barrister at Law at Middle Temple, London on the 9 day of February 1954. He then returned to Guyana and was admitted to the Bar in Guyana then British Guiana on the 19 day of March 1954 as a Barrister-at-Law. His Petition for Admission to practise at the Bar was presented by Mr. S. L. Van Batenburg-Stafford, Q.C. and Barrister at Law instructed by his uncle Mr. W. D. Dinally, Solicitor. Muntaz became an Attorney-at-Law when the two branches of the legal profession were merged in Guyana.

Areas of Practice

M. Muntaz Ali was engaged in an extensive Civil Law practice for more than 50 years. He specialised in Land Law, Matrimonial and Family Law, including Divorces, Custody and Adoption of Children, Contract, Tort and Company law.

M. Muntaz Ali was also involved in Probate of Wills and Letters of Administration of Estates of deceased persons and non-contentious Conveyancing matters, including the purchase and sale of real estate in Guyana and the preparation of various Agreements.

Guyana Bar

M. Muntaz Ali also appeared in numerous cases in the High Court and the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Judicature of Guyana. In the Court of Appeal, he appeared in the case of Re Petition by Shafi Janali which is reported in 21 WIR 172 and Guyana Law Reports (GLR) 1974 at page 298. That case established that the filing of a Petition unaccompanied by an authority to solicitor did not make the proceedings a nullity; such proceedings were cured by a subsequent filing of the authority ratifying the act. This decision effectively reversed the previous decision of Heeralall v. Shivcharran of the Federal Supreme Court. He also appeared in many other cases which were unreported.

Barbados and Trinidad Bars

M. Muntaz Ali's legal acumen extended to the Barbados Bar and the Trinidad Bar. He appeared in the Supreme Court of Barbados in cases including Singh v Attorney General for Barbados and Others reported at 8 WIR 27.

Lecturer - Hugh Wooding Law School

M. Muntaz Ali was an academic and a former lecturer for 5 years. During the period 1984 to 1989, he lectured to law students at the Hugh Wooding Law School (HWLS) in Trinidad on the Roman Dutch system of conveyancing law which prevails in Guyana. His lectures included topics such as Mortgages, Transports, Oppositions, Leases, Execution and Co-owners.

Article on Divorce

He contributed to the Guyana Bar Association Review of June 1983, NS Vol. 4 an article “Divorce - Time for Reform. In his Article, Muntaz Ali called for the amendment of the Matrimonial Causes Act Cap. 45:02 which was enacted in Guyana in 1916 to remove the grounds for obtaining divorce, that is, malicious desertion, adultery or cruelty to simply “irretrievable breakdown” of marriage. This would allow when regrettably a marriage has irretrievably broken down, to “enable the empty shell to be destroyed with the maximum bitterness, distress and humiliation.” This amendment would also prevent one spouse from holding the other to ransom in divorce proceedings where a marriage has irretrievably broken down and the parties are living apart. To date, there has not been an amendment to the divorce laws.

Article on Guyana Tax laws

Muntaz also wrote an article on the Guyana Tax Laws - Urgent Need for Relief in which he advocated the abolition and or reduction of taxes and other reforms. The Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and the Estate Duty Acts were highlighted. The Estate Duty Act has since been abolished.

While the Income Tax Act has been amended on several occasions, the present deductible annual allowance hardly takes account of the spiralling cost of living. He described the payment of one third of the balance of a person’s earned and unearned income as "an inquisition".

The Capital Gains Tax Act of 1966 of 20% chargeable on the net capital gain of any property transferred has remained unchanged much to the prejudice of owners of movable and immovable property. This Act does not grant any exemptions. It ignores inflation and depreciation of money.

Article on Equity & Money Lenders Act

Muntaz Ali also wrote on Equity and the Money Lenders Act of Guyana which was enacted since 1957. The Article highlighted the fact that the requirements imposed upon money lenders are too onerous and the penalties of imprisonment, fines and losing both interest and capital are too oppressive. It was submitted that the law should be amended or repealed to avoid the oppressive penalty being inflicted on the lender and replaced with legislation which reflects the modern trends in economic activities. However, the law remains unchanged.

Guyana Bar Association

M. Muntaz Ali was a member of the Guyana Bar Association (GBA). He was elected on several occasions as an Executive Committee Member and held the posts of Auditor, Secretary and Treasurer.

Printer Wages Council

M. Muntaz Ali was a member of the Printers Wages Council. He also held for 2 years the post of Chairman of the Wages Council for Building Trade and Works of Engineering Construction which was established under the Wages and Councils Act Cap. 98:04 of the Laws of Guyana.

Consultant after retirement from Litigation

In 2004, he retired from active private practice and litigation in the Courts. However, he remained available as a Consultant to his children Ms. Jamela A. Ali and Mohamed R. Ali, Attorneys-at-Law and to several others.

Lawn Tennis

M. Muntaz Ali was an ardent lawn tennis player. He was a member and Vice President of the Guyana Lawn Tennis Association, Captain and Vice President of the MYO and Everest Club and Captain of the Banks DIH Lawn Tennis Team.

Table Tennis

Muntaz also played a good game of table tennis and had a table tennis board at his home. His favourite racquet was Dunlop with spin rubber on one side and speed on the other side.

Walking

Throughout much of his life, he frequented the famous Seawall to indulge in his favourite pastime of walking, from the Bandstand to the Kitty pump, often tagging along the children.

Stock Market

Another of his favourite hobbies was the International Stock Markets. Up to the time of his death, he remained a passionate weekly reader of the British Financial Times newspapers (the orange newspapers) and kept abreast with the London Stock Exchange, Australian and other Stock Markets. He also kept abreast with all the Guyana shares.

Other Hobbies

Muntaz was also an ardent reader. He read on a wide range of topics and kept abreast with international affairs. In 1973, he became a Member of the National Geographic Society. He also loved music and dancing. He was also a lover of flowers with orchids being his speciality and he had a good collection. Light Blue was his favourite colour.

Family in the legal profession

M. Muntaz Ali had two children who followed in his footsteps, Jamela A. Ali, Attorney at Law 1989 and Mohamed R. Ali, LL.B., Attorney at Law 2009. Both children were admitted to practise at the Guyana Bar on his birthday, 12 October.

His niece Mrs. Shalimar Ali-Hack, LL.B. is also an Attorney-at-Law. She was admitted to practise at the Guyana Bar on the 9 October 1990, the day of her father's birthday, Mohamed Ali, aka Tulla, now deceased. She is the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of Guyana, a constitutional post.   

His uncle Mr. William David Dinally, aka W.D. Dinally aka Uncle Meer, deceased, was a Solicitor.

His cousin Mr. Malcolm Taharally, LL.B. Barrister-at-Law/Attorney-at-Law, formerly of New Amsterdam, Berbice presently has a law office in Ontario, Canada.

There is also another cousin Mrs. Elaine Khan, Barrister at Law in the United Kingdom, who was formerly a Magistrate in England and not forgetting her son Mr. Akbar Khan, Barrister at Law, of London.

Jamela A. Ali and Mohamed R. Ali, Attorneys at Law, who followed in the legal footsteps of their father also became involved in the Guyana Bar Association. Jamela was an Executive member for 2 years; Mohamed R is also an Executive member and past Treasurer; he presently holds the position of Vice President. Like her father, Jamela has written extensively and published several Articles in the Guyana Bar Review, Caribbean Law Review and newspapers on Administrative Law - Duty to Give Reasons, Constitutional Reform, Legislative Drafting and Mediation.

 

*Mohamed Muntaz Ali died on the 15 August 2010.

On the 9 December 2016, the Honourable Yonette Cummings-Edwards, Chief Justice (ag) convened a special sitting of the Full Court to pay tribute to Muntaz Ali and other deceased lawyers.

For further information, you may contact his daughter Jamela A. Ali, Attorney at Law who followed in his footsteps and carried on his practice. Her areas of practice include Contract Negotiations, Mining Law & Agreements, Conveyancing, Property matters, Trademarks, Adoption of Children, Divorces, Probates of Wills and Administration, Money Claims, Formation of Companies, Mediation, Real Estate, and Notarial services. She has a Masters of Law degree in Legislative Drafting which included the Public Law courses of Constitutional and Administrative Law and wrote a Research Paper on Legislative Drafting, Parliamentary Counsel, Statute Law Revision, Consolidation of Laws, Law Reform, Constitution, Natural Justice, and Good Administration.

Ms Jamela A. Ali is also a Trademark Agent, a Notary Public, and a Trained Mediator.

Contact person: Ms. Jamela A Ali, LLB (Hons)(UWI), LEC, LLM (Legislative Drafting)(UWI)

Office Address:     Lot 1 Croal Street, Stabroek, Georgetown
                           Guyana (br), South America

Telephone number:+592 225 4712  

Emails:                 jamelalawyer11@yahoo.com

                            jamelaali@gmail.com

Website:              www.GuyaneseLawyer.com

 

 

 

 

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