Attorney General’s Office to decide on Yacht Tours injunction appeal in “days”

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) will announce in the “next few days” whether it will appeal an injunction preventing the state from taking over several properties operated by J Hotels and Resorts over a rent payment dispute.

Deputy Solicitor General Ahmed Usham told Minivan News today that the AGO was presently reviewing the Civil Court injunction issued earlier this month in order to decide whether to contest the matter.

“We have a time limit of 90 days – excluding public holidays – to file an appeal,” Usham said.

The government has sought to revoke the lease for Alidhoo Resort in Haa Alif Atoll and Kudarah Island Resort in South Alifu Atoll from J Hotels and Resorts’ parent company Yacht Tours Maldives since late last year.  The state had previously provided the operator a seven day period to hand over the properties.

However, Yacht Tours Maldives – formed by opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Abdulla Jabir – has continued to contest the government’s right to reclaim the land.

In the Civil Court injunction issued on June 4 this year, the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture was told it could not take over the resorts until a final ruling had been made over the issue of unpaid rent claimed to be owed by Yacht Tours.

Yacht Tours Director Ibrahim Shiham last week accused the government of trying to come on to the Kudarah resort property on June 3 without a court warrant to take over the property, alleging authorities had sought to create a “political drama” out of the case.

The Tourism Ministry told local media at the time that Yacht Tours had continuously failed to pay back the rent and fines in installments as previously agreed following a first termination notice being sent.

Minivan News was awaiting a response from Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb at time of press.