The High Court has ruled that there are no legal grounds under which a stay order can be granted against the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) regarding the appointment of judges to the Hulhumalé Magistrates Court.
The order was requested by former president and opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader Mohamed Nasheed during Tuesday’s (February 3) hearing into his case against the JSC over the legality of the appointment process.
Hassan Latheef, a member of Nasheed’s legal team, told Minivan News that the High Court gave its decision with no further explanation or reasoning.
“It just said that the court finds no legal ground on which such an order can be granted,” said Latheef.
Further, he revealed that representatives of Nasheed have been asked to attend the High Court to sign the statements given in relation to the case challenging the legality of the Hulhumalé Magistrates Court bench,
The case was first raised in 2012, and challenges the legality of the bench assembled to try the opposition leader for the detention of Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed during his presidency.
Meanwhile, Tuesday’s hearing saw presiding judges ask Nasheed’s representatives to submit the request for a stay order in writing despite their insistence that the court allow the request to be presented orally.
Nasheed lawyer Hisaan Hussain commented while speaking to the press after the hearing that the court must provide opportunities for the points to be presented orally, facilitating the illustration of connections between laws and facts of the case.
Expressing discontent over the time limits placed by the presiding judge and the refusal to allow the points to be raised in court, Hisaan said: “If the court is not providing enough time to orally present the case in detail, both parties involved can send the relevant documents to court and the court can deliberate on the matter”.
Responding to the request during Tuesday’s trial, JSC lawyer Hussain Ibrahim said he was unable to respond as he was not aware the process of appointing new judges to the Hulhumalé Magistrates Court bench was underway.
Nasheed and the MDP have suggested the case is being rushed through after a near two-year delay in order to conduct his trial before the introduction of the new Penal Code in April, which they argue does not include the offence under which he is being charged.
Hearings will resume next week.
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