The Indian Express has revealed the name of an expert sent to advise the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI). India’s Ministry of External Affairs told the newspaper that former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal had been sent to the Maldives to assist with the commission’s conclusions.
The Chief Justice, who returned to India last week, told the paper: “I have given my advice on the transfer of power… They wanted my help in how to go about holding a transparent inquiry into the entire affair, as well as meaning of certain legal terms.”
Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives Dnyaneshwar Mulay told Minivan News that the commission had made an official request for India’s assistance, adding that India would continue to be “happy to offer whatever little help we can.”
The CNI is in the process of being reformed following pressure from the international community, from civil society, and from political opponents to enhance its credentials of independence and impartiality.
After being reprimanded by the Commonwealth on these grounds, the government alleged that it had requested assistance with the CNI but had received no response. The Commonwealth responded by saying that it had received the request but felt the composition of the commission to be a more pressing issue.
Following meetings with the Commonwealth last week, the government agreed to add an international component, in the form of a Singaporean judge, as well as a nominee from former President Mohamed Nasheed. The appointment of the latter, however, is subject to certain criteria which has already seen a succession of nominees rejected by the government.