Civil Court halts judicial watchdog from taking further action against High Court Chief Judge

Civil Court on Thursday issued an injunction ordering the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) not to take any action against the suspended Chief Judge of High Court Ahmed Shareef, until it decides on the legality of his suspension.

The injunction comes the same day the Civil Court cancelled a hearing of the lawsuit filed against the JSC by the suspended chief judge, after the JSC claimed it could not “print a statement” that was to be presented to court due to an “IT failure”.

The Chief Judge of the High Court was “indefinitely suspended” by the JSC shortly after the High Court cancelled a hearing of the appeal case filed by former President Mohamed Nasheed.

The hearing of Nasheed’s case was scheduled to decide on procedural issues raised by the JSC contending that the High Court did not have the jurisdiction to hear the case, which involved the legitimacy of a panel of judges appointed by the commission to preside over the former president’s trial at the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court.

The JSC however, in a press conference denied any connection with the case but claimed that Shareef’s suspension was regarding a complaint filed against the judge over a year ago.

The Chair of the JSC, Supreme Court Justice Adam Mohamed, was quick to give his reasoning of the suspension, contending that it was a “precautionary” measure while investigation of the complaint was proceeding.

Following the decision, Judge Shareef subsequently challenged the JSC’ decision in Civil Court claiming that the decision contrasted the existing laws and had undermined the independence that a Judge require in executing his legal duties. He had also, through the lawsuit, requested the Court to issue an injunction halting his suspension.

Shareef is represented by veteran lawyer and former Attorney General Husnu al Suood and his law firm Suood Anwar & Co.

The Civil Court Judge Hathif Hilmy dismissed the case after Shareef and his legal team failed to appear before the court on time. However, Shareef’s lawyers again re-filed the case on the same day.

Had it not been cancelled, the JSC was expected to respond to the lawsuit on Thursday’s hearings, but lawyers representing the JSC told the court that commission’s intranet network crashed and therefore they were not able to print the statements which they planned to present to the court.

When the presiding judge proposed to delay the hearings for a later time in the evening, the lawyers claimed the problem could not be fixed within the day.

Responding to the claim, Shareef’s lawyer Suood argued at the court that JSC could have easily printed the statement from another printing shop using a flash drive.

However the JSC lawyers told the court that it would not be able to present the statements the same day even if the printing was done externally.

Following the claim, the presiding judge cancelled the hearing without scheduling a future hearing.

Despite the JSC’s suspension of Judge Shareef following the High Court case regarding Nasheed, the commission is yet to take a similar “precautionary action” against Supreme Court Justice Ali Hameed – who appeared in a leaked video indulging in adultery with a with foreign women that is now circulation on social media networks.

Hameed’s sex tape came into media limelight after the arrest of Ahmed Faiz on charges of blackmail – a senior Council Member of President Waheed’s Gaumee Ihthihaad Party (GIP) and former Project Advisor at the Housing Ministry.

A police investigation is already proceeding and Hameed was also summoned for questioning. In the meantime, the JSC itself formed a five member committee to look into the matter which includes JSC Vice Chair Abdulla Didi, commission members Latheefa Gasim, Ahmed Rasheed and two outside lawyers.

Senior figures of the state including President Mohamed Waheed have expressed “sadness” over the incident with the president noting that should the video be authentic, it raises “serious questions”.

However, JSC is yet to take any action against the Supreme Court Justice, who continues to preside over Supreme Court cases even for a precautionary measure.


14 thoughts on “Civil Court halts judicial watchdog from taking further action against High Court Chief Judge”

  1. Indeed, why has Ali Hameed not received a "precautionary action" when there is not only a complain, but a widely circulating video incriminating him in adultery!

    Surely, if there was ever a need for "precaution", this would be it!

  2. Husnu Sood is not just a veteran lawyer, he is also the most corrupt...he can be regarded as the Ablo ghazee in lawyers!!

  3. Some individuals are above the law. Others get arrested and punished for imaginary crimes.

    Such is life in Ultra Soviet Super North Korean Mordiss.

  4. The term "watchdog" as in "judicial watchdog" is apt. There are lots of dogs in that organisation.

  5. I have a story to tell you about the Maldivian judiciary.

    I was taken before the Judge Sameer on a drugs charge last month. He advised the police investigation officer with the Holy Quran in front of him - while under oath - to tell the truth and to give accurate information.

    I pointed out to the judge that this was not possible as the police investigation officer had not attended the scene of the crime. "Just shut up" the judge told me.

    The next day the judge brought me to court on a previous charge that could get me sentenced for 15 years.

    My response. "Legal counsel is a basic right of the Maldivian individual under the constitution. I will answer the charges once my basic rights are given.I am a poor man n the state has to provide me a lawyer.

    The judge says only high profile cases are provided lawyers by the state.

    I pointed out by saying that under the Maldivian constitution all are equal before the law.

    I'm likely to be sentenced on the 18th of this month for sticking to my argument. Tge judge is likely to conveniently disregard the fact that all are equal under the constitution probably saying it refers to a different set of circumstances.

    I can get away with a six month sentence but I;m prepared to fight the judge even if it gets me fifteen years. I will surely attain my reward someday.

    The judge counters by saying

  6. @Ali Rasheed,

    If he beleived cutting down 15 years of your life is a small matter; then you can shove the 15 years in his ass physically.. lawyers and judges like these only distinguish people as items. Numbers and codes.. Ive got another problem... I WAS having issues with the rental apartment (3 room and cost me a dime 22k/month) in colonel ziyad house. since date of contract, this month 13th was the 3rd month.

    in 3 months, we were unable to use 2 bedrooms and main kitchen. when we complained, he wanted us to vacate the house. I asked for legal advise from CID, Transparency Maldives.. problem was, Thoriq from Transparency spoke to me few occassions on phone.. after i wanted to file the case, he stopped responding.. he gave names of Riza (never met) & Ali hussain whom i met once and for the second meeting he was having diarrhea. Spoke to maybe 6 lawyers who all said that the case is a win but none wanted to take the case cz the opponent was COLONEL MOHAMED ZIYAD..

    now you tell me how can we trust the judiciary to get us justice? goon lawyers i say.. afraid of petty baaghees like Ziyad. My question is, if you have the truth, if you tell the truth, what are you afraid of? Atlast, a female lawyer took the case. ball less men wearing the black frock to only look like crows.

  7. Today, our country's politicians are making every promise they can think of while the nation has suffered 3 'doomocracies' upto date, no laws have been passed on rental apartments, houses and real estate.. they price the places by their desires and the rights of individual people like us who are striving to provide for their families suffer each day. I have moved out of ziyad house.. if you ask any floor in ziyad house,,like 5th floor, 2nd floor, they will all tell u the real condition of the 7 floor building. i physicaly had to drag 2 kids and my wife on the street..and how can i recover the financial loss i had gone through? for pple like ziyad, its just another lessee... have to change school, change quran classes, children got sick... i will fight this time.. for the sake of pple like us.. we also have a life.. magaamuge nufooz beynun koggen kanthah kureveyne dhuvas hingajje.. court maruhala insaaf nulibuniyya dhen insaaf hodhaanee magumathin

  8. @Ali Rasheed:
    Here is what the constitution says about “state sponsored legal counsel”:

    Article 53:
    (a)Everyone has the right to retain and instruct legal counsel at any instance where legal assistance is required. (b)In serious criminal cases, the state shall provide a lawyer for an accused person who cannot afford to engage one.

    State is responsible to provide legal aid in “serious criminal cases” and for a person who cannot afford to appoint a lawyer. There are two requirements stated; it must be a serious crime, and financial capacity.

    The Attorney General has published a policy to provide lawyers to the accused in serious criminal cases who cannot afford to appoint. The policy is available in the Attorney General’s Office website since 2009. If the crime which that you are been charged is listed with the policy, you should be entitled to a state funded lawyer. If the judge fails to facilitate it could be appealed to the higher courts.

    You should have not vacated the apartment if you could have sought Specific Performance. Damages would be difficult to demonstrate, where the Maldivian Law (especially the contract law) states that the damages “must be foreseen” to the defendant before the parties entered in the agreement, or before an action is taken.

  9. @ Ahmed. A crime for which lawyers sav I cud get 15 years wud his be considered a serious crime. The law is very clear on 'legal counsel' being a basic right. The law is also clear on all citizens being equal before the law. If I cannot afford the exorbitant fees charged by lawyers then I have to appeal to the state.

    The whole problem started because I pointed out to the judge that he cannot get the police investigative officer to take an oath with the Quran in front of him especially since he had not attended the scene of the crime. The one taking the oath is dependent on second hand information. The judge is also party to this.

  10. we have most corrupted judiciary in the world
    first we need to remove all radical Islamist from our judiciary.
    next we need cleaning and scanning of our judiciary for all this we needed ask help from India or other civilized country
    only this work can be done by nasheed.

  11. @A.Rashyd

    Legal Counsel is a basic right; however, it is subject to serious crimes only. The term serious is used, in my opinion, because state cannot bear the legal fees of all the accused. It is true that “the law is also clear on all citizens being equal before the law.” However, state is required provide legal counsel for the people who being prosecuted for serious crimes only. Now the question is what can amount to a serious crime?

    As I said before, Attorney General has published a “policy” which governs the article 53 of the Constitution. The said Policy has set guidelines, conditions, criteria, and “serious crimes” too. You can challenge the “policy” in a constitution court (court that possesses the jurisdiction to hear constitutional matters).

    Regarding the police officer:
    Did you ask the question to the witness during cross-examination?


    (Just a thought)

    India is not a civilized country where it ranks world top countries in the corruption index. Moreover, my opinion is, no one is serious in reforming judiciary. Nasheed, Yamin (gayoom), Gasim, Waheed. No one! They all seek favors from judiciary, take advantages. nothing else.
    cheers 🙂

  12. @SA Ahmed- All the lawyers and consultants have advised it is ok to move out... why do i want to stay there? My kids were getting sick due to the toxic smell comming from dust, cement and fungus.. i was spending daily MVR 300-400 for food.. (buying from outside cz cannot cook. so why should i stay there? even for legal formalities would be keeping my stubbornness ahead of my children's health. And i have enough proof of his house and conditions. See WE are going social on this.. prob is new house have no internet and it takes some days for ROL to come and reconnect..say what>? welcome to life

  13. @SA ahmed. Become a politician and i will support you. You have said exactly what i have been saying these past few years,, Maldives is yet to find a leader who truly loves the nation.. according to history, the closest we have is anni.. to a person who realy knows how the poor live, how prison life is.. how maldives is, inside out


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