High Court Chief Judge files lawsuit against JSC for second time

High Court Chief Judge Ahmed Shareef has filed a lawsuit at the Civil Court for a second time against the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), challenging his indefinite suspension by the judicial watchdog.

Shareef’s lawyer Husnu Suood – a former Attorney General under the administration of former President Mohamed Nasheed – told local media that the second case was filed this week with the same request to issue an injunction halting Shareef’s suspension.

On Monday (June 17), the previous case submitted by Shareef was dismissed by Civil Court Judge Hathif Hilmy after the claimant did not attend a hearing scheduled for that day and failed to provide the court with a valid reason for his absence.

Speaking to Minivan News today, Husnu Suood said that Shareef’s lawyers were unable to attend the hearing scheduled due to a mistake made by his office staff.

“We filed the same lawsuit the same day the [first] case was dismissed,” he said.

Suood said that lawyers would argue that the JSC did not follow due process in suspending Shareef.

“They have a procedure of establishing a committee to investigate cases and then the committee will recommend the action to be taken after investigating the case,” he explained.

“We don’t know if Shareef’s case was tabled or not,” he added.

Suood also referred to the issue of Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chair Mohamed Fahmy Hassan’s contested legal status and his attendance at the JSC meeting where the decision to suspend Shareef was made.

Suood questioned the legitimacy of a decision made in a meeting held with an “illegitimate” member.

Judge Ahmed Shareef was suspended on the same day that the High Court cancelled a hearing of a case involving former President Nasheed.

The hearing 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.

Shortly after the cancellation, the JSC declared that the commission had indefinitely suspended Shareef.

He was the presiding judge in former President Nasheed’s case against the JSC.