Independent Institutions Committee votes to replace Fahmy in CSC

Parliament’s Independent Institutions Committee voted yesterday to replace Mohamed Fahmy Hassan at the Civil Service Commission (CSC) following Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling reversing parliament’s removal of the CSC chair over allegations of sexual harassment.

The proposal to appoint a replacement for Fahmy by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ahmed Sameer was passed with five votes in favour and none against.

Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) MP Riyaz Rasheed attempted to disrupt the committee meeting on Monday afternoon and did not participate in the vote. Other government-aligned MPs did not attend the meeting.

Riyaz contended that yesterday’s meeting was called in violation of parliamentary rules of procedure and insisted at length that parliament could not challenge Supreme Court rulings.

Monday’s sitting of parliament was meanwhile called off after MDP MPs objected to the Supreme Court ruling on the grounds that the apex court overstepped its constitutional authority.

Speaking to Minivan News, MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor stated that the MDP did not believe Fahmy should hold his position in the CSC, accusing him of  having  an “issue of integrity”.

“The committee decided today that he [Fahmy] should go and we should continue looking for another person.

“Effectively we are ignoring the Supreme Court’s decision. The MDP will continue to raise this issue in parliament, it is a policy and it is legally non-negotiable. We cannot compromise on that.”

The sitting was first adjourned at 10:00am when MDP MPs raised points of order after Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim announced the Supreme Court’s decision.

In regard to the morning announcement, Ghafoor said Nazim did not make the “right call” when informing parliament of the court’s decision.

“He [Nazim] informed us of the three issues to do with the Supreme Court in a language that essentially showed an acceptance of those verdicts. We didn’t like this,” he said.

After the sitting resumed at 1:00pm, Nazim announced the cancellation as the issue was to be taken up at a meeting of the Independent Institutions Committee.

On November 20, 2012, parliament dismissed Fahmy in a 38-32 vote after the Independent Institutions Committee looked into a complaint of sexual harassment by a female employee of the CSC.

Fahmy however contested the dismissal at the Supreme Court, which ruled 6-1 on Thursday night that his removal was unconstitutional. The majority opinion contended that the Independent Institutions Committee violated due process and criminal justice procedures in its inquiry.

The majority opinion held that Fahmy would receive two punishments for the same crime if he was convicted at court following his dismissal by parliament (double jeopardy). The CSC chief returned to work on Sunday.

“Fundamental, revolutionary change”

Writing in his personal blog following the Supreme Court judgment, MP Mohamed ‘Kutti’ Nasheed – chair of the Independent Institutions Committee – argued that the Supreme Court judgment established a legal precedent that would bring “a fundamental, revolutionary change” to employment termination.

On the Supreme Court’s argument that Fahmy was accused of committing a criminal offence, Nasheed noted that sexual harassment at the workplace was not specified as a crime in Maldivian law. Legislation on sexual harassment is however currently before parliament.

In the absence of a law prohibiting the offence, Nasheed wrote, a person could not be prosecuted for sexual harassment.

Fahmy’s dismissal by parliament was therefore a disciplinary action taken by the institution with oversight powers over the CSC, Nasheed explained.

Under article 187(a) of the constitution, a member of the CSC can be removed “on the ground of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence.”

Article 187(b) states, “a finding to that effect by a committee of the People’s Majlis pursuant to article (a), and upon the approval of such finding by the People’s Majlis by a majority of those present and voting, calling for the member’s removal from office, such member shall be deemed removed from office.”

As the process to be followed by parliament was clearly specified in the constitution and parliamentary rules of procedure, Nasheed argued that the Supreme Court could not require parliament to adhere to “new conditions and new procedures”.

“While parliament has the power to remove members of the Civil Service Commission and the process to exercise that power is specified in the constitution, the problem that has risen is that the [Supreme Court] has determined that Majlis cannot use that power even in accordance with the procedure laid out in the constitution and law,” Nasheed wrote.

Nasheed further argued that parliament’s removal of former Auditor General Ibrahim Naeem in March 2010 has now been thrown into question in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. Naeem was dismissed after the Finance Committee investigated allegations that he used an office credit card for personal benefit.

The ruling has also raised doubts over the legal status of current Auditor General Niyaz Ibrahim, Nasheed wrote.

Nasheed also criticised the Supreme Court’s interpretation of “double jeopardy” in Fahmy’s case. According to the Supreme Court ruling, a person could not be removed from his or her post as a disciplinary action unless he or she was convicted of a crime.

If an employee is accused of a criminal offence, he added, employers would no longer have the right to fire the accused before he or she was found guilty.

“If that is the case, questions have been raised over the dismissal of all police officers, army officer, civil servants and employees of other institutions over cases of misconduct or breach of ethical rules that involves allegations of a criminal offence,” Nasheed explained.

Double jeopardy does not preclude civil, disciplinary or administrative action before or after criminal prosecution, he added.

However, Nasheed argued, the Supreme Court ruling has effectively prohibited employment termination as a disciplinary action as the judgment considered such action “a punishment.”

As a result of the legal precedent established by the Supreme Court, Nasheed wrote, it was “very likely” that most people dismissed from their posts since the adoption of the new constitution in August 2008 would have to be reinstated.

“That is, considering their cases individually, it is certain that no state institution would have adhered to the standard set in this Supreme Court judgment. The standards are that high,” he explained.

Nasheed however stressed at the beginning of his post that he was obliged to accept the Supreme Court ruling as it was the highest court of appeal.


9 thoughts on “Independent Institutions Committee votes to replace Fahmy in CSC”


    I find it funny when you remove/not publish comments that damages MDP or Nasheed (Anni) while you are perfectly OK to publish comments which mocks Islam and also the values of Islam under the name of press freedom. Try to digest bit more with your so called liberal views. It is a well know fact MDP government failed due to the romance of Mariya and Nasheed. Nasheed was a hard working and to the point guy, Mairya cleverly seduced him. Majority of MDP MP's speak of this fact. Try to digest this fact. Mariya will dicard Anni after she is done with him and move on to another lovely host.

  2. Shame on the people (which ever party they belong to) who support the perpetrator Fahmy to be reinstated in his post. This is not a political matter!! Where are the NGO's who are supposed to stand up against gender violence?? Where is the HRCM? Where is the Gender Ministry? No one dare stand against a sexual offender? There will be major consequences if Fahmy is allowed to take his post back. We are inadvertently instilling a norm that we Maldivians have been trying to eradicate. The norm that it is ok for men to throw sexual advances at work place in a patriarchal society. Where are the people who went to the One Billion Rising? This is a social matter and everyone who is or was ever against Gender violence should raise their voice against this!

  3. Thank Goodness we have Nasheed in parliament. Everyone knows he is not a big fan of Anni or MDP. But as we can see he does not let that dictate how he works. That is what I call integrity. This is why we read what he says, because he is one of very few among the legal community actually doing some work to bring about legal reform in the country and educating us on how laws affect us.
    The Supreme Court has to stop insulting us with actions like this. Not many of us know what Nasheed has pointed out, that there is no legislation against sexual harassment and that the court would find in favour of Fahmy simply because there is no legal provision for that.
    Thank you Nasheed for bringing this to the attention of the public.

  4. What is funny is almost all political parties heads including women are both openly for sexual fanaticism and often secretly support individuals who abuse children, innocent and vulnerable men and women. These perverts are mostly elected heads of political parties who are highly trusted by political leaders including Gayoom, Nasheed(Anni), Waheed and many more. It is more alarming to find political leaders such as Nasheed and Gayoom have secret affairs with these pervert minded ladies in their respective parties or outside. Maldives is a lost nation. Nasheed and Gayoom wants to be in power. The rest is all fake. You don't believe me? Then look at the past of people like Jabir, how the likes of him got the power, wealth and influence in political domain. How they sustain it. How mentally sick ladies like Azima, Mariya and Dhiyana could be easily used as Jariya's by people like Adil Saleem. Think. Ordinary Maldivians need to rise above these crimes and free themselves. Journalist who are working in Minivannews know some bit of the truth, but they dare not reveal the truth as some of them are binded by the salary and also some of them are party to this sexual odyssey and they are enjoying it. They love been commented like "you are hot"! Perverts!

  5. Look, it's simples. Parliament gave him the job and Parliament found his hands somewhere it should never have been, so he was dismissed. That's the end of it. If you cannot handle such a job, then don't bother. Just go home.

    This case is particularly sensitive as it involves sexual harassment. I don't recall any legal case involving sexual harassment in the Maldives. And as reported in the article, it's not even considered a criminal offence in this unique democracy of ours. So how does a woman or indeed a man get any justice for such a crime?

  6. Ahmed Bin.. well said, this is a simple thing and yet People like Imran is trying to brain wash his followers and create a civil war. May Allah save the Maldives from people like Imran. He gets away with his sister-in-law's affair. WAKE UP MALDIVES...

  7. I find it outrageous that Fahmy should rub this woman's abdomen, add insult by telling she should not get fat and be endorsed by the Supreme Court to continue in his job.

    There is no legislation on sexual harrasment as MP Nasheed has pointed out to us. So what is this nonsense about Fahmy being found guilty twice.

    So much for the fancy speeches on Internationals Womens day about protecting women and advancing women. If this is what we women can expect from the highest authority of the Civil Service, what chances are there for women to advance themselves in the civil services if they disclose sexual harassment at work?

    If the honourable judges on the bench of the Supreme Court do not have the capacity to read the constitution, then I suggest you resign and make way for people who can.

    What is the Majlis doing keeping these people in these posts when they violate the rights of our people over and over?

    As citizens I believe we should view this decision by the Supreme Court as a turning point in our tolerance for what it is a clearly dysfunctional judiciary.

    If our representatives in parliament do not address this shocking state of affairs in the judiciary we should seriously think twice about voting them back into parliament.

  8. This fahmy character has no shame at all. If he was honorable he would resign. I can only imagine what the victim will be going through everyday she is going to work. And still ppl say that there is huge female unemployment.


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