The High Court of the Maldives has clarified that Islamic Sharia law defaults in cases where crimes may not be specifically forbidden by Maldivian law, and instructed parliament to keep this in mind when amending the penal code.
”When bringing amendments to the penal code of the Maldives, I rule that the concerned state institution amend the penal code in a manner that does not obstruct the giving of penalties for crimes prohibited under Islamic Sharia,” Judge Abdul Gany Mohamed ruled.
Judge Gany added the landmark ruling to the verdict in a case concerning a man who threatened a doctor last year in Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).
The prosecution claimed that Sulhath Abdulla, of Maafannu Kurevi, went to IGMH in May last year and threatened a doctor who had refused to write him a prescription for a control drug.
The Criminal Court of the Maldives last year ruled that there was no specific law forbidding Sulhath Abdulla’s actions, and therefore he could not be punished.
Judge Gany said that although there was no Maldivian law for the crime he committed, anything prohibited under Islamic Shariah was consisted prohibited according to articles 2, 10, 19 and 59 of the constitution.
”Under article number 142[a], the courts must rule according to Islamic Sharia when deciding a matter on which [Maldivian] laws are silent,” Judge Gany said.
Judge Gany sentenced Sulhath Abdulla for four years house arrest for objection to order and violating article 88[a] of the penal code.
He explained that using foul words when addressing to people, threats to damage another’s body or property, intimidation, refusing to give samples necessary for investigations, obstructing investigation, using or possessing a sharp object that might cause “fear in society”, and using any object that could potentially be classed as a weapon should all be considered prohibited under article number 2, 10, 19 and 59[a] of the constitution.