Lawyers question reappointment of judges convicted of sexual misconduct

A group of lawyers have questioned the Judicial Service Commission (JSC)’s decision to reappoint two judges, previously removed from the bench for sexual misconduct, as magistrate court judges.

The lawyers, including Former Attorney General Husnu Suood, said on Thursday that  Gaafu Dhaalu Thinadhoo, Meeraaz Ahmed Shareef and Dhaalu Meedhoo Biloori Villa, Ali Shafeeg who were appointed as magistrate court judges had previously been convicted for sexual misconduct.

Speaking to Minivan News, Suood said the two judges were removed from bench in 2010 because they did not possess the “high moral character” required to be a judge according to the article 149 (a) of the amended constitution.

According to the records, Shareef – appointed to Gaafu Alifu Dhevadhoo Court – was sentenced to two months under house arrest on July 30 2001, for having an affair. He was former Chief Magistrate of Thinadhoo in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

Ali Shafeeg, appointed to Kaafu Gaafaru Magistrate Court, was sentenced to four months banishment and subjected to seven lashes in 1989, for having an affair with a married woman.

Suood noted that, article 149 (a) of the amended constitution states “a person appointed as a Judge in accordance with law, must possess the educational qualifications, experience and recognized competence necessary to discharge the duties and responsibilities of a  Judge, and must be of high moral character”.

Referring to the previous convictions of the Judges, Suood said that the “two judges were not up to the moral standards required and that’s why they were disqualified in 2010”.

“We are preparing the documents to submit to JSC requesting them to investigate the case. It’s up to the JSC to hold the integrity of the judiciary,” he said.

JSC spokesperson Hassan Zaheen noted that Shareef and Shafeeg were also removed in 2010, under the article 285, which allowed  JSC to dismiss judge failing to meet the requirements in article 149.

However, he added, that Shareef and Shafeeg were reappointed “because the Judges Act now allows it.”

According to the article 15 of the Judges Act – which came into effect five days after the reappointment of judges with life time tenure – a judge will be considered as failing to meet the required ethical and moral standards if they had served a sentence for a criminal offence in the seven years prior to the appointment.

“Shareef and Shafeeg were sentenced before the seven year period,” Zaheen added.

In 2010 when Shareef was dismissed from the bench, he also protested against the JSC in court, claiming his conviction was 11 years old when he was removed from the bench on August 5, 2010, and his sentence had been suspended. The Judges Act was being debated in the parliament at the time of Shareef’s removal.

Therefore, JSC pointed out at the time, the Judges Act post-dated its decision to remove Shareef from the bench, and argued that it could not be expected to rely on legislation that did not exist.

The JSC reiterated that he was removed from bench under the article 285, that allowed JSC to dismiss the judges failing to meet the moral and ethical requirements of article 149.


13 thoughts on “Lawyers question reappointment of judges convicted of sexual misconduct”

  1. President Nasheed has appointed as cabinet Ministers people who have been convicted and sentenced to death in the past.

  2. Lawyers should question more than individual decisions taken by the JSC - they should question the Commission itself. But they haven't the balls, do they? Only when it affects them personally do they come out of the woodworks.

  3. Minivan news got a new journalist?
    I hope Hawwa Lubna has a more balanced approach and does not give into anti-islam bias.

  4. hey folks! don't get too excited over this. just cos a person got caught doing something he shouldn't doesnt mean we shall condemn him for the rest of his life. We all do things like that ennu? only that most of us are fortunate not to get caught ennu? am not defending JSC here. They have a very anti-democratic agenda here but denying a job to somebody cos he did something in the distant past is no good 🙁

    wha 'd ya think?

  5. @idreesbe

    I don't think you realise we are speaking about judges here. In my opinion judges should have a clean criminal and moral record. But then, in a country where the mafia and money rules, I don't think this is relevant , is it?

  6. @ Idreesbe

    TRUE! But NOT for the posts of judges have any place on this earth appointed judges with issues of behavior, conduct and past crimes/offenses.

    In any other job what you say IS OK. But it's NOT OK to have a judge who have misconduct/ ill-behavior issues asking small children to get naked in the middle of courts (like what Dr.Hassan Saseed witnessed about Judge Abdulla Mohamed) just to show the judge how the homosexual guy did take his clothes off.

  7. One more thing Idreesbe.

    If you're accusing of current Immigration Controller Mr.Shahid, of being sentenced to his death under Gay-yoom's reign, then you MUST really investigate into it.

    Mr. Shahid had NEVER been involved in any of the plot and neither did Mr.Luthufee tell Shahid about his plans on the coupé because Shahid was a soldier then.

    Shahid merely met Luthufee in Sri Lanka while he was on an official trip/training. Neither Sahid nor Luthufee like most of other Maldivians was not a fan of Gay-yoomm and perhaps did talk alot about that. Yet, Lutufee or any other person with a sane mind can never trust a soldier (especially in the time of Gay-yoom) and tell his full plan. So probably Lutufee tricked Shahid by saying that he's got a new project or work to be done in the headquarters of Maldivian defense force and took a tissue paper from the restaurant table where they met and simply drew some of the area he wanted to clarify just to get Shahid's assistance in updating his plan of the HQ.

    Shahid has always been saying that his statement was taken by force and torture in the HIGH COURT. He never was a fan of Lutufee even as cellmates and even now. Why? Because he was PUNISHED for something he didn't get involved in.

    FURTHERMORE, how stupid is a law which incriminates one when s/he doesn't inform the authorities. And what was there to INFORM? Shahid never thought of Lutufee or anyone else teaming up with LTTE or the PLOTE terrorists. It's up to someone's moral obligation to report of peculiar feelings/conspiracies but there was a LAW in Gay-yoom's reign to INCRIMINATE people on it. And it too was misused to keep Gay-yoom's dislikes behind the bar.

    WHY is that nobody ever speaks of Gay-yoom pardoning Mr.Shahid and ex-Major Mr.Abbas serving the so called DEATH SENTENCE? Gay-yoom himself REDUCED the death sentence to life and the life sentence to 25 years for Luthufee, Nasir, Shahid and Abbas. Later after the KILLING of Evan Naseem (buy Gay-yoom's soldiers) and the public chaos did Gay-yoom give a public amnesty and amongst them were SHAHID and ABBAS. But NOT Lufthufee and Nasir. WHY? Because Gay-yoom also knew those two honestly never knew about the whole plot and that they were being jailed for nothing and that both Sahid and Abbas has been writing to numerous international organisations about their cases in the past years. So once the local and international political pressure was in the climax he didn't want to further RISK his international image and let the MDP win by having innocent people behind bars just because Shahid and Abbas has publicly stated he despised Gay-yoom. THESE ARE FACTS, MAN.

    Next time try to the fact before you say or write anything. It's the era of FREEDOM in the Maldives. Not like the times when people like us talk people like you are sent behind us to catch us and do us harm. Shame on you, Idreesbe.

  8. @Soadhube. what u said might be all very well.shahid might hav been the scapegoat and all that. still from the explanation u gav, then a court ruling doesnt matter since 'facts' and what shahid has been denying since is more worth and credible than a court ruling. so be it these magistrates confessed to the acts of indecent behaviour, they cud very well claim now that it was taken by force by the courts back then. if shahid is innocent, it shud be proven by a court. otherwise fact is, pardon or no pardon, he is a man who was convicted with a death sentence wich was later reduced to a life sentence.

  9. Ali shafeeg’s (Dh Meedhoo) corruption is well known to our island. He bribes the guides from nearby resort to bring all tourists to his shop only. When he goes to perform Friday prayer as an imaam to nearby Velavaru resort, he spent most of his time talking about island hopping trips and asking them to bring guests to his shop.
    He is simply, a greedy man with no respect among his islanders and neighbors.

  10. While I am all for 'democracy' and separation of powers, I am beginning to wonder if we did the right thing by giving complete independence to the Judiciary!

    It is common knowledge that there is rampant systematic corruption within the entire judiciary from top to bottom at every level of the branch. People might say that there is corruption in every branch of the State. But when there is wide spread systematic corruption in the judiciary, there is no place left to go and seek justice from.

    Majority of the judges are incompetent, unqualified and unsuitable for their jobs.

    The whole system has gone hay wire and is out of control. The judiciary has also become political.

    With "separation of powers" and a Majlis dominated by clowns there is no way to have a "check" on the Judiciary.

    The only solution left is for President Nasheed to step in to deal with this cancer even if the whole opposition cries foul!

    After all he is the President of the Republic and he has a sacred duty to come forward when there is a 'system failure'.

  11. Soadhube:
    TRUE! But NOT for the posts of judges have any place on this earth appointed judges with issues of behavior, conduct and past crimes/offenses.

    Try Italy for that. Just check how many parlamentarias are indicted or have been condemned....


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