Police cannot order MDP to vacate Usfasgandu, Civil Court rules

The Maldives Police Service does not have legal authority to order the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to vacate its ‘Usfasgandu’ protest camp on May 29, the Civil Court ruled today.

On May 29, police raided Usfasgandu with a search warrant from the Criminal Court and ordered the MDP to vacate the area before 10pm, after which the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) began dismantling the protest camp.

The Civil Court however issued an injunction ordering the security forces to halt the dismantling after the MDP challenged the legality of the operation. The injunction was to stand until the court reached a verdict and was later upheld by the High Court.

Police had obtained a warrant to search Usfasgandu on the grounds that the MDP was using the area as a hub for criminal activity and black magic.

Police alleged that people in the Usfasgandu area verbally abused police officers and damaged a police vehicle on April 20, obstructed a Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) exercise on May 9, and that, on May 25 “MDP protesters threw a cursed rooster at MNDF officers.”

MDP lawyers however argued at court that the warrant did not provide a legal basis to dismantle the demonstration area.

Following the dismantling of the MDP’s protest camp at the tsunami memorial area on March 19, the Male’ City Council (MCC) leased the Usfasgandu area to the former ruling party for three months, prompting repeated attempts by the government to reclaim the area.

The MCC – which has nine MDP councillors and two government-aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) councillors – however refused to hand over the area to the Housing Ministry despite a cabinet decision authorising the Housing Ministry to reclaim the plot.

In its verdict today, the Civil Court noted that legal dispute between the MCC and Housing over guardianship of the Usfasgandu area could only be settled once the Civil Court reached a verdict on a separate case filed by the ministry requesting the MCC be ordered to hand over the plot.

As the MDP had a legally binding agreement with the MCC for use of the area, Judge Hathif Hilmy ruled that police could not infringe on the rights of the MDP as it was not party to the dispute between the MCC and the Housing Ministry.

Police therefore could not enforce the position of one party in a civil dispute without a court order as such an action would violate the constitutional rights of administrative fairness and equality (articles 17 and 20) of the other party.

Moreover, police could not infringe on the MDP’s right to use the leased land during its investigation of alleged criminal activity, Judge Hathif Hilmy ruled.

The Civil Court ruling today invalidated the police letter on May 29 ordering the MDP to vacate Usfasgandu or face confiscation of property.


22 thoughts on “Police cannot order MDP to vacate Usfasgandu, Civil Court rules”

  1. Disagreements between judicial bodies simply suggest how nonfunctional the system is.

    How can justice be served in such as environment?

  2. Finally a judge who is not afraid to make the right decisions. Looks like reason is prevailing now.

  3. Justice delayed is justice denied.

    Nonetheless, the fact that the judiciary retains a modicum of independence from baghee Waheed and his overlord Gayoom is cause for hope.

    Now that MDP can reclaim its base, the recent suspension of demonstrations must be lifted and maximum pressure exerted on the regime to restore Anni to his rightful position as President without further delay.

  4. Three cheers to Dr. Waheed & Dr. Hassan Saeed & the people of Maldives!!!

    Signs of at last arriving at a new Dhivehi Rajjee where there is the rule of law.

  5. Police cannot execute a coup either...but they have done it and they are gloating about it.

  6. MINIVAN Please do not publish any comments I have written in the last hour or two I am tired and have said things I wish I could take back, Please,

    thankyou kindly,

    all minivan team doing an amazing job by the way articles are really awesome, all of them...

    and the comments, as political critiques, are becoming less pulp fiction and more technical, people ARE thinking FREER in maldives... Thanks largely to good ppl like yourselves

  7. you can publish these compliments if you like i don't care because that is genuine, sites like this offering freedom of expression inspires ppl

  8. this decision shows that Judiciary functioning well and they are independent not influenced by the Government.

    At least these are signs of democracy getting prevailed unlike Anni regime.

    Both MDP and current government need to respect each other and abide by the law and stop violence in this country.

    By creating a ha voc in the society and killing each other and damaging country economy is not going to help anyone including Anni.

    If our economy is in deep shit, then even if Anni become the president tomorrow , how will he be possible to run the nation without money . ? Do not get fooled by thinking that once he become the President the west is going to pump in millions of dollars to the country which is not going to happened ?

    This is clearly proved in his first term where he mentioned that he will bring 350 million USD to cthe country within 2 weeks from taking the office.

    No country will be pumping money or going to fund the Maldives just because of any single person and it will take time to get funds and improve the economy.

  9. Kudos for Hisaan and Co. for taking the matter through the courts instead of resorting to militancy.

    The courts also have acted in an exemplary manner by not acting deferential towards the security forces.

    The next test is whether the security forces will react to this in the right manner. During Ex-President Nasheed's time a judge who stood up to the police was forced to lower his trousers and photographed while walking in Hulhumale with his girlfriend. Everyone in the judiciary knows he was the victim of a horrific institutional bullying yet the Nasheed regime failed to look into the matter.

    We hope this time around police will act professionally.

    Now the government must pursue the matter of jurisdiction through the courts. The courts can also play a helpful role in setting down standards for the use of public lands under licenses provided by the government.

  10. Who is fooling who?

    It took the Civil Court how many months to come to this decision?

    This decsion has got nothing to do with justice. It has everything to do with politics.

    The police and MNDF came to the Usfasgadu and behaveed like animals. They showed no respect for the people.

    And the courts stayed silent.

  11. Governments will not pour money into the country merely because the democratically elected leader is restored to the Presidency, but tourism will rebound and foreign investors will no longer be reluctant to invest in a dictatorship.

  12. Foreign investors more hesitant to put the money in during Anni regime more than any other time in the history of Maldives.

    Only investors who had invested anything are the corrupt deals like GMR.

    During Anni regime, there is not solid economic policy and no one knows what he will be doing the next day morning.

    Anni only tried to be a champion of environment which also had only gained personal benefit but for the country and for the investors it was a big blow since investors were reluctant to put the money into a country where it is going to sink in 50 years.

    Banks and other finical institution took the advantage of the situation by increasing the interest rates and putting additional burden on levying heavy insurance on investment .

    This is what Anni did to attract the investors ? I rather say Anni tried to scare away the investors .

    If you look the investors profile in Maldives, almost all foreign investments are in resorts and there were all major foreign companies prior to Anni regime and non had come as a new during Anni time.

    During Anni time he only attracts the people who are willing to give him a cut under the table . GMR and Mega Maldives are typical examples.

    Anni is a failure and his economic policy had driven us backward to 20 years.

    During Gayyoom regime after 30 years, he gave the country a debt of MRF 5 billion and during Anni regime, he managed to increase country debts to MRF 80 billion.

    These are facts and if Anni had a solid economic policy, i guess country would have gone into this status .

    I know these hardcore Anni lovers will not accept anything and they can only talk about 30 years of Maumoon and the corruption of 30 years and nothing else.

  13. @ Mody

    Can you explain to me just why you believe the GMR deal was a corrupt deal? Are you saying the IFC/World Bank did a corrupt deal? I understand that it was the IFC which managed the tender and that the tender process was both transparent and legal.

    I would like an answer to this question because you continue to repeat this everywhere you can, but you never give us the facts. If you know someth9ng we don't,why are you withholding that information?

  14. Absolutely right @Fathun.

    Up until now, what was taken from Usfasgandu and Raalhugandu sarahadhdhu remains with who ever took it!
    If that was not daylight robbery, would someone genuine tell me what is daylight robbery?

    This is peculiar and skeptical!

  15. @Mody.

    I read your comments and I think , just don’t bother. This person is so blind and deaf , whats the point?
    However, your comments have so much spin and untruths that they do need to be commented on.

    So from now on, be prepared, Mody, every comment you write I will comment.

    Your writing is so incoherent , you are clearly out of control, why I have to wonder. Do you, have a personal vendetta against Anni or are you so so indebted to Gayoom and his Mafia who strut around now in the name of politicians that you , poor thing can see no reason?

    Mody, do your homework, and write facts.

    If there was corruption in these investments, and you know there were, MUST report it to the ACC. If you don't you are protecting those who acted acts of corruption. Since you seem to know so much about these deals, please tell us what actions you have taken to address this.

    President Nasheed (Anni) did have a solid economic policy. He was removed from office BECAUSE his economic policy was so solid because the wealthy and powerful do not want a more equal society.

    Yes, there are people, like me, who respect Anni for who has been for us and what he has suffered and the tremendous personal sacrifices he made and the hard work he does everyday so we can have freedom of expression and all that he did to make our lives better and easier . That doesn’t mean we agree with everything he says. We are a mature political party, we have systems in place for conversation, discussion and debate. We do not publicise our conversations and differences.

    And yes, we will talk about 30 years of Maumoon and the corruption of 30 years for another 30 years if necessary. We will talk about Gayoom and his corruption and his torture of prisoners , and his tyranny until he is brought to justice.

  16. @Mody ah Vedhun Salaan and Mody:

    Maybe there is no disagreement between you both.

    In a modern democracy, which we aspire to become some day, its not a problem if some of us support one economic outlook while others support the other.

    If for example one among you is a conservative who supports less taxes, less welfare and more incentives for business then Nasheed is not the man for you.

    Those who support expanding state enterprise (in case anyone jumps at me, Nasheed's privatization program was offset by the myriad public enterprises he created), increasing taxes and expanding welfare would support Nasheed's overall policies.

  17. Sigh Naaish, freedom of expression but scared to post a few comments?

    @charles! you have spoken off me a lot my love

  18. Mody ah.

    I had enjoyed reading your feedback on my comments but i could not see any valid point from you except saying Anni is a good man.

    But I have high lighted facts and you failed to address those fact and keep on saying same old things which majority of Maldivian are of sick of hearing now.

    Gayyoom is sick man and he had robbed this country but Anni is worse than gayyoom and Anni had robbed this country more than what gayyoom was able to rob in thirty years.

  19. The police were actually drunk and kept seeing black roosters everywhere.

    Moral of the story: Don't drink alcohol. It screws your brains this way and that!

  20. No you have not given any facts, you just keep droning on and on YOUR VIEWS and YOUR PERCEPTIONS of President Nasheed.

    Tell us in plain language what Anni has taken from us (robbed, your words) . Come on then, give us all this information you have. And do us all a favour, submit that information to the Anti Corruption Commission and the courts.

  21. @ tsk tsk

    I beg to differ. There is a difference in what Mody is writing and what I am. Mody comes up with accusations that I have been asking him to clarify, and give us facts. Still waiting, still waiting.


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