The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has said that all complaints filed against judges are now being investigated, after it appealed the Civil Court’s injunction preventing the commission from taking action against Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed at the High Court on Tuesday.
Former President’s Member on the JSC, Aishath Velezinee, on Tuesday told Minivan News that if the judicial watchdog “can be overruled by a judge sitting in some court somewhere, then it’s dysfunctional. But that’s what has been happening.”
In a press statement issued this week, JSC – which is mandated to appoint and investigate complaints against judges – refuted allegations that it was defunct, claiming it has been “working hard” to finish investigating complaints submitted to the commission.
Out of the 336 complaints submitted so far, 208 have been completed and 38 cases under investigation, the JSC claimed, while commission is working to finish the 128 complaints remaining. Investigation committees had been set up within the commission to “expedite the process”, JSC claims, adding that complaints concerned different judges, not only Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
The statement comes despite the JSC’s abolishing its complaints committee in May 2011. It did not clarify the outcome of any of the complaints it said it had investigated.
The JSC explained in the statement that the commission has been unable to pursue the case against Chief Judge as the Civil Court had ordered the JSC on November 17 to take no action against the judge until the court reached a verdict in the case filed against him.
The JSC requested the High Court to terminate the injunction citing that the commission’s decision cannot be overruled by the civil court.
Abdulla Mohamed filed the suit against the JSC after it completed a report into misconduct allegations against the cheif judge. According to the report, which the JSC has not yet publicly released, the judge violated the Judge’s Code of Conduct by making a politically biased statement in an interview he gave to private broadcaster DhiTV.
The injunction was first appealed by the JSC at the Supreme Court, which ordered it to be submitted to the High court on January 19 – three days after chief judge was detained by the military, after he had opened the court outside normal hours a night ago, to order the immmmediate release of Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, deputy leader of the minority opposition Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) who was arrested after President’s Office requested an investigation into “slanderous” allegations he made that the government was working under the influence of “Jews and Christian priests” to weaken Islam in the Maldives.
In this week’s statement JSC reiterates its stance that neither police or Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) have the “constitutional authority” to detain a judge, citing that the commission reserves the right to investigate complaints about judges and submit to the parliament in case a judge has to be removed from the bench under the section 159 of the constitution and Judicial Service Commission Act.
However, the government continues to legally justify the military detention of the judge amid spiralling political tensions.
In a televised statement on MNBC One on Junary 17, Home Minister Hassan Afeef said military assistance was sought for “fear of loss of public order and safety and national security” on account of Judge Abdulla, who has “taken the entire criminal justice system in his fist”.
Afeef listed 14 cases of obstruction of police duty by Judge Abdulla, including withholding warrants for up to four days, ordering police to conduct unlawful investigations and disregarding decisions by higher courts.
Afeef accused the judge of “deliberately” holding up cases involving opposition figures, and barring media from corruption trials.
Afeef said the judge also ordered the release of suspects detained for serious crimes “without a single hearing”, and maintained “suspicious ties” with family members of convicts sentenced for dangerous crimes.
The judge also released a murder suspect “in the name of holding ministers accountable”, who went on to kill another victim.
Afeef also alleged that the judge actively undermined cases against drug trafficking suspects and had allowed them opportunity to “fabricate false evidence after hearings had concluded”.
Judge Abdulla “hijacked the whole court” by deciding that he alone could issue search warrants, Afeef continued, and has arbitrarily suspended court officers.
The chief judge “twisted and interpreted laws so they could not be enforced against certain politicians” and stood accused of “accepting bribes to release convicts.”
However, opposition continues to contend that the judge’s “abduction” by the military and its refusal to release him or present him in court, despite being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court, represents a constitutional violation by the government.
7 thoughts on “JSC appeals Civil Court injunction against investigation of Abdulla Mohamed”
I believe Minivan, that it is not just the opposition but the Prosecutor-General, Supreme Court, certain segments of the international community, the Vice President, legal experts and several members of the public, as well as the 2008 Constitution itself which "claims" that Judges rights under the 2008 Constitution have been denied by the military's abduction and ongoing detention of the Criminal Courts Chief Judge.
tsk, you are right in this in a functioning democracy where all institutions are functioning according to the norms, his rights would have been violated.
But this is a different scenario now. There is no functioning judiciary. They are all corrupt and in this for the ride. The only option is outside the judiciary. I would have preferred the Police to do the arresting and then handing him over to the MND for his safety.
The People has no confidence in this Judicial system when I ask ten people the same answer they say they have no confidence in this system. Bottom line the system is hijacked by the Elite of the former Rulers of 30 years of Dictatorship. The shroud of the darkness is what we are seen now. Opposition and the ruling party should sit in and talk and settle about this evil system
Two wrongs do not make a right.
Grow up people!
Abdulla Gazee is in the right place where he belongs, away from the innocent citizens and away from the criminals. From there he should be send to a rubbish dumb as soon as possible.
Bunch of hooligans calling them selves life long Judges, who took their own oath behind close doors don't deserve any better.
President we are watching very closely what you do with this Abdulla Gazee, We will come out on the streets if he returns to judging, the crowds we bring out will be bigger and more effective than these hoodlums you see every night.
The time has come for the population to come out to clean up the courts. Some of the Judgement that has been pass by these judges are so ridiculous that its not worth to piss on it.
Six billion of our money is stuck there rotting in courts, while we go hungry and do you see the faces who are demonstrating to free this damn Gazee and to block this money.
I have read Velezinee's ramblings over and over a few times. But apart from facts we already know about the failure of JSC (where Velezinee her self was a member) and the fact that judges were not properly screened when they were made permanent I really don't hear anything new.
We know there is system failure at JSC. But that doesn't mean it is President Nasheed who should suddenly take over and run the judiciary now or is that what he and MDP wants? Sorry guys. Won't happen.
The way to ensure judicial oversight and ensure accountability and transparency is for the JSC to be reformed and made to function as envisaged by the Constitution. TO do this urgent JSC reform legislation needs to be passed by the Majlis and the Majlis has to jump to this.
The Majlis and the present JSC can take the lead in this process right away without waiting for a signal from above.
Simply 'plucking off' a Judge that MDP loves to hate and keeping him hidden away like a prize trophy and refusing to let go and shrieking and wailing every time some one asks to release him, will not solve the problem or make the problem go away and evaporate. I am sorry but that's the way it is.
President Nasheed, his cabinet and educated persons within the MDP camp know that what Nasheed has done in 'snatching' Judge Abdulla is against the Constitution and the Law. They know it!
While 'in your face' politics might have worked in the past political confrontations, this time it won't work.
President Nasheed should act like a Statesman and Gentleman and release the Judge.
Ilyas, don't you follow the news at all? The government tried to reform the JSC through the Majlis and what did they do?
They hijacked the whole thing and even elected Gasim Ibrahim, to the JSC while he has had cases against him already in the courts?
How can you appoint someone to the JSC when he has a court case against him already?
I also do not like the way Abdulla was arrested and fault the government for that but in this case the ends justify the means of doing it.
I have know many cases where Abdulla has obstructed justice.
As Velizinee says how can a court order the JSC to stop investigating the courts. That is the function and the mandate of the JSC.
Anni did the only thing available to him and the sooner we get the judiciary sorted out the better it would be for all of us.
I am also sure that the moment a non MDP government comes to power, they would reform the life terms of the judges.
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