The Civil Court ruling on whether or not the Judicial Service Commission is guilty of neglecting its Constitutional responsibilities has been delayed indefinitely because the court lacks an official seal with which to stamp the decision.
The Civil Court has been shut for business since President Mohamed Nasheed ratified the Judicature Act on Thursday due to a change in the Court’s name from Arabic to English. A Dhivehi word is not in use to refer to it.
Until President Nasheed signed the Judicature Act into law, the official name of the court had been Madhanee Court – ‘madhanee’ being the Arabic word for ‘civil’.
The Judicature Act, passed by the Majlis on 4 October, uses the English word ‘civil’ instead of the Arabic word ‘madhanee’ to refer to the court.
The Civil Court stopped its work once the Judicature Act came into force as it does not have an official seal bearing its new name with which to stamp its hearings and other official documents.
The Family Court and the Criminal Court, too, are suffering the same plight of being unable to rubber stamp their decisions after the name change.
A period of seventeen days was available between the Majlis passing the Judicature Act and President Nasheed ratifying it in which the seals could have been made.
Treasure Island Ltd is suing the JSC for professional negligence, alleging that it failed to investigate complaints of misconduct against two judges, one of whom is the former head of JSC and former Surpreme Court Justice Mujthaz Fahmy.
The JSC is an independent body Constitutionally mandated to oversee the judiciary and maintain its ethical and disciplinary standards.
Judge Mariyam Nihayath of the Civil Court, who on October 19 refused to admit additional infromation offered by potential JSC whistleblower, President’s member Aishath Velezinee, was set to hold a further hearing on the case today.
It is not known when the courts will have the necessary tools with which to resume justice.