AG appeals ruling on harbour plot sales

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) last week appealed a Civil Court ruling that declared the President’s decision to auction plots from the southwestern harbour area in Male’ illegal.

Solicitor General Ibrahim Riffath told newspaper Haveeru that the court did not provide legal justification for its ruling, which held that the auction was invalid as a law governing sale of state assets and property as required by article 250(a) of the constitution was not in effect.

The state has however asked the High Court to rule that the existing Land Act should apply to property transactions.

The plot auction was challenged at the Civil Court last year by the short-lived alliance of opposition parties in parliament, consisting of main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party and minority opposition parties People’s Alliance, Dhivehi Qaumee Party and Republican Party.

The Civil Court ruling in favour of the opposition came after the government collected Rf100 million (US$7.7 million) in advance payments from five auction winners. Five plots of 2,000 square feet, three plots of 5,000 square feet, two plots of 7,500 square feet and one 10,000 square feet plot in front of T-jetty area was auctioned last year.