Civil Court upholds JSC’s “indefinite suspension” of High Court Chief Judge

Civil Court ruled yesterday (October 9) that there are no grounds to annul the the Judicial Service Commission’s (JSC) decision to suspend High Court Chief Judge Ahmed Shareef, reports local media.

Shareef filed a lawsuit at the Civil Court for a second time against the JSC on June 20, 2013, challenging his indefinite suspension by the judicial watchdog.

The initial suspension came just hours after the High Court had temporarily halted the hearings of a case lodged by former President Mohamed Nasheed against the JSC.

Nasheed had accused the judicial watch-dog of exceeding its mandate when appointing the three-member judges panel to the Hulhumale Magistrate Court currently hearing a criminal case against him.

According to the JSC Chair Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla, the suspension of Shareef – amongst the three judges presiding over Nasheed’s case – was a “precautionary” measure while investigation of the complaint was proceeding.

JSC Chair and Supreme Court insisted at the time that the disciplinary action had no relation to the former president’s case.

On June 17, the first case submitted by Shareef – requesting the court issue an injunction halting the suspension – was dismissed by Civil Court Judge Hathif Hilmy after the claimant did not attend the hearing and failed to provide the court with a valid reason for his absence.

The Civil Court ruling stated that Shareef’s suspension did not violate Supreme Court rulings, Article 141 of the constitution, Article 38 of the Judges Act, or the JSC Act according to local media.

Additionally, the court ruling stated that it is not mandatory for the JSC to establish investigation committees in response to complaints, referring to Article 23 (a) of the JSC Act.