Civil Court Judge Maryam Nihayath yesterday (30 September) ordered the reinstatement of a police officer and a Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) officer, previously dismissed on criminal charges.
The decision was based on the precedent set by the ruling on former Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chair Fahmy Hassan, whose dismissal by parliament was recently reversed by the Supreme Court.
Former Intelligence Chief Mohamed ‘MC’ Hameed has also been reinstated this week based on the Supreme Court ruling 2012/SC-C/35.
MC Hameed was dismissed from the police after the controversial transfer of power on allegations that he had abused his authority as the chief of police intelligence for the benefit of a certain political party and that he had leaked secret information obtained by the police.
The Supreme Court ruling stated that if Fahmy Hassan was dismissed from the position without being investigated and proven guilty, as per the criminal justice procedure, then his dismissal was to be considered as double jeopardy.
Regardless of the ruling, subsequent disagreements between the court and the Majlis resulted in Fahmy’s replacement.
Judge Maryam Nihayath’s ruling stated that the Supreme Court (ruling 2012/SC-C/35) had brought into existence important procedures to follow when dealing with such cases.
The judge also stated that MNDF officer Ahmed Althaf was dismissed from the force on allegations that he lost a compressor valve and asked a lower rank officer to replace it with an older one.
Nihayath’s ruling stated that the court had found he was dismissed without completing the criminal justice procedure, which the Supreme Court ruling had argued violated articles 42, 50 and 51 of the constitution.
Yesterday’s ruling stated that the legal precedent had determined that a person was dismissed from his job in a criminal offence without having completed the criminal justice procedure could not be charged with the same case offence in a court of law without constituting double jeopardy.
In a separate case yesterday, where a police officer was dismissed from his position on allegations that he stole MVR 241,215 (US$15,640) from a safe in the police tow yard, the same Supreme Court ruling was cited.
Judge Nihayath noted that the police officer was not dismissed after completing the criminal justice procedure, and that even if he were, the precedent set in the Fahmy case would still not allow him to be charged and sentenced by a court of law.
In November last year parliament voted 38 – 32 in favour of removing the CSC chair after the Independent Institutions Committee investigated the complaint of sexual harassment lodged by a female CSC employee.
On 14 March 2013 the Supreme Court ruled that parliament’s decision to remove Fahmy from his position was not based on reasonable grounds and invalidated the decision.
In spite of this, the parliament appointed a new member to the Civil Service Commission to replace Mohamed Fahmy Hassan – 51 out of 54 MPs present in the parliament voted in favor of appointing Fathimath Reenee Abdulsathar.
On August 15, the Supreme Court issued an injunction to halt parliament’s appointment just as the President’s Office prepared to give credentials to Reenee.