The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Parliamentary Group has sent a letter to the parliament requesting the removal of DRP MP Dr Afrasheem Ali from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
The letter was signed by the leader of MDP Parliamentary Group MP Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik.
In the letter, Moosa alleged that Dr Afrasheem had violated Judicial Service Commission’s Act, Act number 10/2008 Section 20[a] and [b] which states that a meeting of the JSC could be held only if more than half of the total number of members were present and 20[b] which requires majority vote of present JSC members to make any decision.
Moosa referred to the incident where Dr Afrasheem allegedly phoned JSC member Fahmy Hassan also head of Civil Service Commission (CSC) to ask whether he was fine with Dr Afrasheem speaking in the Supreme Court on behalf of the JSC in the trial conducted after Criminal Court Judge filed a case against the JSC’s appointment of Judges to the High Court.
”Records of the JSC shows that Dr Afrasheem Ali has made that decision against the policy that the law state,” Moosa said in the letter. ”Although Article 164 of the constitution very clearly states that persons appointed to the JSC who is not a member of the parliament shall receive allowances and salary as decided by the parliament, records of the JSC shows that Dr Afrasheem Ali has been paid such allowances.”
Dr Afrasheem had played a role in the unlawful and unconstitutional activities the JSC had conducted, and he has been insincere in carrying out the responsibilities of the JSC, Moosa claimed.
”Therefore, [we] find Dr Afrasheem is not an appropriate person to represent the parliament in the JSC, [we] hereby present this complaint according to article 165 of the constitution and request his dismissal,” Moosa said in the letter.
Minivan News understands that parliament is currently conducting a closed door investigation of the JSC, however no information on the progress or outcome has been provided.
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) recently published a report on the JSC critical of the commission’s independence, among other observations. The JSC has not tabled the report.
Dr Afrasheem was not responding to calls at time of press. JSC interim Secretary General, Abdul Faththah, also the JSC’s legal representative, referred Minivan News to the JSC’s media spokesperson, Hassan Zaheen. Zaheen said the JSC had no comment on the matter, but noted that “the parliament decides which MP represents it on the commission.”
Faththah has previously told Minivan News that while there “should be quorum”, in time-sensitive matters such as court summons members sometimes had to make decisions outside formal meetings, with the approval of other members.
“This is not a matter so important to take a decision with the discussion of the members,” he said at the time.
JSC members had also previously decided who should attend court hearings, during a meeting of full attendance, he added, “[but] that day the Chair was not in Male’, so members decided instead that the Deputy [Afrasheem] should attend [court],” acknowledging that “they may not have had quorum that time.”
“These kind of things happen with things like court attendance issues, but no other decisions,” he said.