By Alexis R. Milan
Career public officer Gian Chand Ghandi, Senior Counsel, passed away at the age of 82 in Belmopan on Monday morning after battling with an unknown illness.
At the time of his death Gandhi was Director General of the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC). He was also Legal Counsel to the Ministry of Finance.
Gandhi has had a long and distinguished career in the service of the Government of Belize having served for more than 37 years in various capacities including Crown Counsel, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), and Solicitor General (SolGen), until becoming Legal Counsel for the Ministry of Finance then assuming control of the IFSC in 1999, when it was started.
Prior to coming to Belize he worked as a legal officer in the British Public Service in the Departments of Trade and Health and Social Services.
Ghandi moved from London to Belize in 1978 to work as a Crown Counsel. He was appointed to the position of Solicitor General under Manuel Esquivel’s administration in the mid-1980s.
He held this position through four administrations, as power transferred back and forth between the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the the People’s United Party (PUP). He even remained in the SolGen position following the 1998 election, when the PUP cme to power.
Under that PUP administration, Godfrey Smith became Attorney-General but because of his wealth of knowledge and legal experience, Ralph Fonseca hired Gandhi as legal advisor in the Ministry of Budget Management.
In 2012, he was instrumental in drafting legislation for the Dean Barrow administration to forgive 800 mortgages of BZ$50,000 or less held by the Belize Social Security Board, totalling BZ$7 million in value.
Ghandi is survived by one sister and two brothers.