Criminal Court ignores Supreme Court order to begin trials

The Criminal Court has today refused to accept cases sent to the court by the Prosecutor General’s Office despite the Supreme Court’s insistence that the court start accepting cases.

A media official from the court has told online newspaper CNM that the Supreme Court’s order stated that cases must be accepted according to the regulations, but that cases accepting cases in the absence of a Prosecutor General would violate court regulations.

The paper reported that the court had received the Supreme Court order.

Speaking to Minivan News Deputy Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem said he had sent a letter informing the Supreme Court of the Criminal Court’s actions.

‘’Following the Supreme Court order, I was expecting the court to resume accepting cases as usual to establish justice,’’ he said.

Shameem also said that if the Criminal Court was accusing the PG’s Office of violating a regulation, then the court must specify the article and name of the regulation.

“There is no such regulation,’’ he said. “I have not seen a regulation that says so.’’

He said that 30 cases were sent to the Criminal Court today, and all were rejected.

“There are serious cases in there such as the recent incident where the wife of an MP was stabbed,’’ Shameem said, adding that there were over 400 cases pending in the PG’s Office to be sent to the Criminal Court.

On November 25, former PG Ahmed Muiz submitted his resignation, shortly before parliament was set to debate a no-confidence motion against him.

On January 8, the Criminal Court decided not to accept any cases submitted by the PG’s Office and to halt all existing cases because the position of PG has been vacant for over 30 days

On December 10, President Abdulla Yameen proposed his nephew Maumoon Hameed for the post of Prosecutor General and submitted the name to the parliament for the MPs to approve.

The issue was sent to parliament’s independent commissions committee, with the committee decided to seek public opinion before sending Hameed’s name to the parliament floor for voting.

However, the parliament is now on recess and will not re-commence work until March.

On January 9, the Supreme Court had ordered the Criminal Court to continue pending trials in the court.

Article 4(a) (4) of the Contempt of Court regulation states that willful failure to obey an order of the court or a court verdict will be considered as contempt of court.