Chief Justice says lower judges lawfully appointed

Justice Ahmed Faiz has dismissed claims by President Mohamed Nasheed that lower court judges were unlawfully appointed and therefore their rulings need not be obeyed.

President Nasheed has also stated that he will withold the salaries of lower court judges.

Faiz has claimed that all judges were appointed and sworn in according to rules and regulations put forth by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) which is tasked with overseeing the judiciary.

Faiz added that the constitution awards the JSC the authority to decide if judges meet necessary criteria, and to decide on actions against those judges who do not meet these criteria.

According to local media Faiz stressed that only the Parliament can decide on issues relating to salaries and other benefits to the judges.

“The violation of such rules and regulations would result in the failure of democracy and rules of governance”, the Chief Justice added.

President’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair has countered that Faiz’s statements are prejudiced and do not carry any legal bearing.

Zuhair added that the President’s decision to withhold salaries is not final and is currently being “discussed”.