Skip to main content

#Maldives: Stop interference in judicial process - Supreme Court, Judicial Services Commission

#Maldives: The Supreme Court and the Judicial Services Commission have called upon the Parliament to stop interference in the judiciary and to respect the separation of powers as guaranteed under the constitution. The call was made in response to the decision by the Parliamentary Subcommittee on Government to summon before it the three Majistrates on the bench to hear the criminal case against former President Mohamed Nasheed. The summons to the Majistrates was for 3.45 on 9th October, just 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time for the first hearing in Nasheed's criminal trial. The Parliamentary Subcommittee has a majority of MPs belonging to Nasheed's party Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and is headed by MDP MP Ali Waheed. Nasheed was arrested earlier today upon a court warrant issued due to Nasheed's violation of two court orders in the case.

In separate press statements both the Supreme Court and the Judicial Services Commission provide legal and constitutional grounds on which such a summons by the Parliament can be deemed as unconstitutional and an attempt to interfere with due judicial process.

The Supreme Court said that such interference by Parliament was directly in contravention to the separation of powers and the guarantee of an independent Judiciary. It said interference in the judiciary would not be permitted in any democratic society, and called upon the Government and independent institutions and all concerned to respect and uphold the separation of powers as guaranteed in the Constitution.

The Supreme Court cited Article 141 (c) of the Constitution which states that "No officials performing public functions, or any other persons, shall interfere with and influence the functions of the courts.". It also cited Article 9 of the Bill on Judges as legal foundation for its arguments against judicial interference by the Parliament.

The JSC, in a separate press release, stated that it had sole authority to make judges accountable for their actions, and that there was no ruling by the Supreme Court which allowed a party other than the JSC to hold judges accountable. This was in response to a claim to media by MP Ali Waheed, head of the Parliamentary Subcommittee which passed the summons to the judges, that his committee's ruling was in accordance with a ruling by the Supreme Court. The JSC cited the Constitution and Article 21 (b) of the Law on the Judicial Services Commission as giving it sole power over holding judges accountable.

MP Ali Waheed who also head the Palrimentary Subcommittee on National Security (241 Committee) has previously led campaigns in parliament to obstruct the functioning of other independent institutions. At the time of the military arrest of Judge Abdulla Mohamed on Nasheed's orders, MP Ali Waheed had called the independent Prosecutor General and the independent Human Rights Commission of Maldives for interrogation by the Committee due to the PG and HRCM's public condemnation of the arrest as unconstitutional and illegal. Media reports at the time also report MP Ali Waheed and other MDP MPs obstructing questioning of the military on the same issue.

Former President Nasheed is reportedly currently held at Dhoonidhoo Island, in readiness for presentation at court tomorrow at 4 pm. Unconfirmed reports say that two MDP MPs have been allowed to stay with him, and that his wife and child are enroute to Dhoonidhoo to stay with him.

Popular posts from this blog

The Quality of Political Appointees in the Nasheed Administration

As almost seven months pass since President Mohamed Nasheed took power in the Maldives, Maldivian citizens despair of ever seeing the much promised improvements in their livelihoods. The state treasury has been exhausted within this brief period, and the economy has declined to an extent worse than the aftermath of the 2004 Asian Tsunami. Escalating price of consumer goods, collapse of social services, increasing food insecurity and declining real income have thrown more people below the poverty line. While President Nasheed is engrossed in his hate and persecution campaign against political opponents, his government has ground to a halt.

The Nasheed administration came into power promising reduced expenditures, increased government revenue and a clamp down on corruption in top government circles. President Nasheed’s first budget (2009) has a 7 billion deficit (nearly 5 billion more than the previous administration’s last budget, and government revenue has fallen by more than 28% since…

#Maldives: 24 years after Nov 3 massacre: Are the terrorists back masquerading as a political party? Part 1

#Maldives: November 3rd, 2012 marks the 24th anniversary of the bloody massacre that left the blackest of stains on Maldivian hearts and history. Nineteen innocent Maldivians were slaughtered and several injured. Hundreds were held at gunpoint for hours, many later taken away as hostages. Immense damage was given to public and private property. Maldives was rescued by troops sent by Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi. The leader of the failed coup was a man called Sikka Ahmed Ismail Maniku, a man who had previous convictions for coup attempts against previous governments. The coup leader's nephew, Mohamed Nasheed, was installed as President in 2008, at the head of a political party whose top leadership comprised of family members and others involved in the 1988 November 3 massacre.

Nasheed's cabinet, senior political advisors and state ministers included terrorists convicted for their involvement in the November 3 massacre. As Nasheed denounces the current government of Dr. Mohamed W…

Maldives Parliament; President Nasheed's military take action on the Parliament floor

Male' Maldives.

President Nasheed has again wielded his military to attack opposition MPs, this time on the Parliament floor while the parliament was in session. Media reports are streaming in that military personnel are active inside the parliament hall, forcibly removing opposition members from the hall. Some opposition MPs are reported to leaving on their own, under orders from the military personnel to either leave the parliament floor or be removed with the use of force.

Today's Parliament session to debate the various loans proposed by the Nasheed Government was halted due to points of order taken by opposing MPs. Opposition MPs noted that the parliament session on the topic (Government loans) was proceeding out of order as the session period had expired. They pointed out that the legal process for extending the session was for a member to proposed the extension and for another to support it. However, this process had not been followed, with the Speaker of Parliament Abd…