JSC Chair refuses to be answerable to parliamentary oversight committee

The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has informed Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid on Wednesday that it will not be held answerable to the Majlis’ Independent Commissions Oversight Committee.

As the country’s judicial watchdog, the JSC has been summoned by the commission concerning the appointment of judges in the trial against former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Nasheed is being tried over his controversial detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed during the final days of his presidency.

In response to a summons from the parliament committee, JSC Chair and Supreme Court Judge Adam Mohamed responded in a letter stating that the JSC refused to discuss any matters concerning the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court, as it related to an ongoing case.

According to local media, the letter stated that the commission would not abide by the parliament summons, citing a Supreme Court ruling that nobody could influence an ongoing case. The letter justified refusing the commission’s request by noting that the Supreme Court ruling also stated any decisions made against the ruling must be considered void.

JSC is legally required to attend committee: Parliament Speaker

Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid, who is also a member of the JSC, has responded to the letter stating that the JSC is legally required to attend and be answerable to its oversight committee.

In the letter, Shahid quoted Article 99 of the Constitution of the Maldives and Article 69 of the Parliament Regulations, adding that as per the constitution, it is parliament which has legal powers to decide on matters concerning independent institutions of the state.

“The Judicial Services Commission, established under Act 10/2008, is required under that law and the Constitution of the Maldives to be answerable to the parliament. Hence, it is mandated to attend the parliament and the relevant permanent parliamentary committee, and to be answerable and accountable for any work that they are doing, or have done,” local media quoted the letter as reading.

Shahid added that as he is incidentally also a member of the JSC, he held no reluctance to attend the parliament committee, even if in a personal capacity, to be held answerable for decisions made by the JSC.

Commission must be answerable to parliament: JSC Vice Chair

JSC Vice Chair, Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Didi, has meanwhile spoken out against the commission’s official response to parliament, stating that its refusal to attend the Independent Commissions Oversight Committee was not a decision of the majority members of the commission.

“From what I know, only three commission members attended the meeting where this decision was made. That doesn’t even meet the minimum required quorum to make a decision,” Didi stated.

“I, myself, could not attend the meeting because of the extremely short notice we were given,” he continued.

“All and any member of the commission must be accountable and answerable to the oversight committee at any time. No one can refuse to do so. As a member of the JSC, I am perfectly willing to attend the parliament meeting and answer to any questions they put to us,” Didi stated.

JSC members summoned

Following the JSC’s official refusal to attend, and the responses in conflict to that decision from the commission’s Vice Chair Abdullla Didi and Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid, the parliament’s Independent Institutions Oversight Committee has once again summoned individual JSC members to a meeting scheduled for Thursday night.

JSC members summoned to the meeting are Vice Chair Abdulla Didi, Speaker Abdulla Shahid and member appointed from the public Sheikh Shuaib Abdul Rahman.

Sheikh Rahman on Wednesday publicly aired concerns about the politicisation of the commission, alleging that the commission had ‘handpicked’ magistrates for Nasheed’s trial and openly planned to eliminate him from the September 7 elections.

JSC has used the same justification to refuse to answer the parliamentary oversight committee in November 2012.

The oversight committee has previously determined that the JSC’s creation of the Hulhumale Court – in which Nasheed is being tried – is illegitimate. However this was overruled four to three by the Supreme Court bench, on request of the JSC. Supreme Court Judge Adam Mohamed – the JSC chair – threw the casting vote.


10 thoughts on “JSC Chair refuses to be answerable to parliamentary oversight committee”

  1. We are seeing a repeat of the hide-n-seek that was played by the infamous Ablo Gaazee. When he was investigated by the JSC, he filed a case with the Civil Court. That case was pending forever and as such no one could "question" or "answer" regarding the case.

    We have the same situation here. The JSC once again is under the spot light for having made questionable decisions. The matter is duly filed at the Supreme Court and is pending forever. This is a deliberate attempt at deadlocking ANY investigation into the conduct of the JSC.

    Another key question is:

    When there is a pending case regarding Hulumale Court and its bench, why is the said bench and Court allowed to carry on regardless? If the JSC refuses to be answerable on the grounds of a "pending case", then surely, it makes no sense for the court or bench to carry out any legal proceedings.

    The Honourable Majlis should consider dissolving the JSC promptly for gross failure to conduct its duties.

  2. There are harsh realities that Maldivian are unable to get along. The world is beyond the comprehension for immature Maldivians brains. The Maldives is not a country that anyone can be proud of or worth to defend. Maldivian are very misfortunate people and who knows how we end up in these tiny sandbars. If we think deeply and ponder about our existence and future survival, we are one thing certain that we cannot survive on our own. We have no water, no land, no agriculture the very basic for survival. So what drives us to be so nationalist and super egoistic? Definitely it is how our brain conditioned during the last 30 years dictatorship; a dictator who was megalomaniac has done this damage to our brains and destroyed the whole new generation.

    In a not very distance past, when the Maldives was isolated from rest of the world, the Maldivian kids were seen languishing bare foot bare body in these mosquito infested tiny sandbars. We eat coconut and fish and drank contaminated pungent rainwater that was settled underground with sea water. Kids when they see foreigners they run behind them like hungry dogs begging for food.
    Our course took a bit promising route when Tourism started, but we were unfortunate to have mad man as a leader. Instead of exploring the newly available resource and the gateway to civilization, he stared to brainwash people by generating limited revenue to sustain his propaganda and feed the force to protect him.
    Tourism was caged to be used only to generate revenue to feed his egoism and spread xenophobia, fear, and false nationalist ideas, proclaimed Islam as savior, sustainer and hope and preached that tourisms, foreigners, foreign cultures are evil and anti Islam and will destroy our culture of smoking bidies, chewing beetles, wearing mundu, misogyny, child abuse, divorce, superstition, selfishness’ and the list goes on about the rich culture that was to be destroyed by tourisms.

  3. @maladivan on Fri, 8th Mar 2013 7:06 AM

    "Tourism was caged to be used only to generate revenue to feed his egoism and spread xenophobia, fear, and false nationalist ideas, proclaimed Islam as savior,..."

    Yep, all of that is true. Gayyoom styled himself after other notorious despots like Egypt's Sadat and Mubarek, Iraq's Saddam, Libya's Gaddafi and so on (remember the Green Book that was widely distributed in the Maldives). The style and the oppression was remarkably similar.

    If anyone remembers, Nasir was on the brink of establishing a secular government. He was just about to abolish the right-to-left Thaana script with a latin derivative. If Nasir remained there for another 5 or so years, Maldives would have been transformed into a totally secular state. Nasir was probably taking a leaf out of Ataturk (including the abolition of the original written script).

    Gayyoom saw the opportunity to babble about Islam and pretend to be the master of the realm. The rest is history.

  4. @ maldivian of Fri 8th March
    "In a not very distance past, when the Maldives was isolated from rest of the world, the Maldivian kids were seen languishing bare foot bare body in these mosquito infested tiny sandbars. We eat coconut and fish and drank contaminated pungent rainwater that was settled underground with sea water. Kids when they see foreigners they run behind them like hungry dogs begging for food."
    This is nonsense! I lived in the Maldives at the time (most probably before "maldivian" was born), and never ever saw a kid begging for food on any island!
    - But I have certainly seen the culture of the Maldives being destroyed, not by tourism, but by a misdirected government benefitting those who stole from society without ever giving anything back.

  5. Chinese Tourists boycott Maldives


  6. for the last 5 years, things have started becoming worse... Before 2002, I never saw any beggars on the streets of Male'and in the islands.

  7. Some people think that just trying to damage the country reputation is going to help them to come back and rule the country as they want.

    But I doubt that it will happened and country is much more developed and its people are well educated and Maldives is among the highest developed state within the SAARC region

  8. The chairperson Judge of JSC and Supreme court significantly seem to lack common sense!

    My question to him is, for who is he working?

    If he is being paid by the people, he bloody well need to attend the People's Majlis and answer the Committee!

    Let not the people come to him for question!
    They possibly may lynch him if he is being so snobbish!

    The People's Majlis should not forget that if this person is not answerable to the People's Majlis, no Maldivian need to answer no one! Not the Administration, Judiciary or the Majlis! Reasonable enough, I guess!

  9. I think our judges have tos top doing work for the Golhas and be answerable to the people. Bring and grill them. This guy mist go with the ablo gazee. they are working for the golhas.


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