Senior judges accuse Supreme Court of violating due process in High Court appointments dispute

Two senior judges have accused the Supreme Court of violating due process and rules of procedure by unfairly dismissing a case challenging the legitimacy of the Judicial Service Commission’s (JSC) selection and appointment of judges to the High Court.

Five judges were sworn in to the High Court bench by the JSC last night after the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a case filed by Criminal Court Judge Abdul Bari Yoosuf at the Civil Court claiming to show procedural and legal issues in the JSC vetting process. Bari’s case was later entered into by Family Court Chief Judge Hassan Saeed as a third party.

On January 20 – three days before the judges were due to be sworn in – the Civil Court issued a temporary staying order halting the appointments by the JSC pending a final ruling.

The Supreme Court however transferred the case from the lower court a day later and conducted two hearings before dismissing it without issuing a verdict on Thursday (March 24) after neither Bari nor Saeed reportedly appeared at court.

The Supreme Court had announced on January 21 that it was taking over the case as it involved “a matter of public interest”.

Judge Bari, who was himself among the candidates for the High Court, however insists that section 23 of the Supreme Court regulations – which requires claimants to inform the court prior to leaving the country or face dismissal of their case – does not apply to him as he had filed the case at the Civil Court.

The Criminal Court judge claims that he had also informed the senior registrar of the Supreme Court of his departure on a personal trip. In an apparent violation of standard procedure, chits were reportedly sent out to the involved parties two hours before Thursday’s hearing began.

Moreover, under section 75(c) of the Supreme Court regulations, the court must give a maximum period of seven days for the claimant to file the case again. However, the JSC – chaired by Supreme Court Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla – decided to hold the swearing-in ceremony on Saturday night, effectively preempting Bari from filing the case again.

In a letter sent to President Mohamed Nasheed today, Chief Judge Hassan Saaed writes that “that the case was dismissed in violation of legal principles and procedures came as a shock to the judiciary.”

Saeed added that as a result of the incident, “the growing confidence that I and ordinary citizens had in the judiciary is lost,” urging the President to “stop this process continuing unlawfully.”


10 thoughts on “Senior judges accuse Supreme Court of violating due process in High Court appointments dispute”

  1. i need answers from the guardian of the constitution AKA Supreme Court Bench:

    1- Supreme Court took over the case from Civil court stating it was a matter of public interest... and to decide on the jurisdiction- what happen? where is the judgment?

    2. Mr Saeed was never given an opportunity to file or to obtain a remedy.. is this how you uphold the rule of law?

    3. when Supreme Court dismissed the case they never decided on the jurisdiction of the civil court issue or whether JSC followed due procedure or not...dont you think Supreme Court ought to tell the public since its a public interest matter

    4. why haven't supreme court published their decision

    5. why wasn't the procedure followed in accordance with the summon regulation, which states summons should be sent 3 days prior to the date of the hearing. where in the world do a person gets summoned 3 hours prior to a hearing? is supreme court really above the law?

    6. why should Bari seek leave from Supreme Court when he didn't file a case in the supreme court? nonetheless Bari still informed the Senior Registrar. why would Supreme Court knowingly schedule the case when they knew Bari was not in town? is this a joke?

    7. according to section 75(c) of the supreme court regulation, a maximum period of 7 days should be given in circumstances where court dismisses the case on the grounds of failure to appear before the court. why was this procedure not followed? why the rush Adam Mohamed, as the sole decision maker of the High Court appointments? did you make another deal with the supreme court and the high court appointees? or do you always have a habit of not being transparent? or are you afraid the public might become aware of the corruption and the dirty politics at JSC?

    8.Supreme Court Bench, why did you refuse to open the registry during the weekend when you have done so in Yameen and Gasim's application?

  2. I agree with 'concerned citizen'. For arguments sake, lets just say that Mr.Baari's case was dismissed due to his failure to appear as per the 'summon regulation' and 'supreme court regulation', but why wasn't he summoned 3 days before the hearing, or why wasn't the registration opened during the weekend for him to file the case. what good will it do for him if he files the case now since he is given an option to file the case within 7 days of dismissal of the case. there are so many rules and procedures that was ignored by our guardian court, the Supreme Court of the Maldives. How can a citizen expect justice to be served when Supreme Court acts in this manner or when Supreme Court interprets the laws for their own benefit. Recently Supreme Court declared the Court as the guardian of the Constitution and abolished 2 chapters from the Judicature Act on its own account. Why are they acting like the legislature, isn't this breach of separation of powers. Why arn't people concerned about such issues, is it because a color is not attached to it. These are serious matters that should be taken seriously because we are talking about the highest Court doing whatever it pleases and playing internal politics for their own benefit and wellbeing. what happened to the corruption charges against two Supreme Court justices. is it being looked into? No one knows cos none cares about these issues. Its time that we do something about this.

  3. Well when judges can't get justice in the Maldives, what hope is there for the ordinary citizens?
    Disband JSC and the supreme court bench also.

  4. We the citizens must not get fed up with these corrupt and despicable judges or anybody for that matter. As it has been reported here, it is clear that breach of rules and procedures have taken place. Therefore we must act and so the judges who are working in good faith. The case must be filed and the senior judges must be questioned under the law and also the process that took place must be looked into properly to identify whether it is lawful or not? Nobody must be or can be above the law. The culprits must be brought to justice.

  5. When senior judges will not have faith in the judiciary to give a fair trial, who can? I am shocked not at the decision of the Supreme Court but of the conduct of the said Judges. If they have the right to protest the decision of the Supreme Court why do they not allow us to voice our concerns on their judgments? I believe the tactical maneuver of the Supreme Court would have been to allow for the appointment of a female judge to the High Court bench. This is not the first time the Supreme Court is seen to have made "politically correct" decisions, in my opinion.

  6. Very odd that suddenly the Judges are requesting the president to stop an unlawful process, undertaken by the Supreme Court. Was it not the same institutions that were criticizing Nasheed for interfering with their work. Looks like both the Legislature and the Judiciary are full of infighting and the Executive is sailing through with their Programmes on their Pledges.

  7. Maldivian justice system can always be unclogged with an injection of cash. Cash works everything under the justice system. No Cash .... n now you see the result!!!

  8. Supreme Court's decision is final. That's why its known as the Supreme Court.

    No one can ask for an explanation or challenge the Supreme Court. That is the way the system works.

    For Senior judges to plead to the President asking for his intervention is asking another Branch of the State to interfere with the Judiciary. As Judges, these Senior Judges should know better.

    There are two sides to this argument and I take no sides in this matter to say whose argument is right or wrong.

    Let us take our memory back to one of the most controversial decisions made by our Interim Supreme Court just before the Presidential Elections.

    Our Interim Supreme Court decided that Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom can contest in the Presidential Elections although the Constitution clearly says that no President can serve for than 02 consecutive terms of office.

    Fortunately for the people of this country the Dictator was ousted in an election which rightly President Nasheed would have won during the first round.

  9. @oh - when injustice occurs at the highest level of the court, where would one go to obtain remedy. Lets not forget that President is the head of the State and as private citizens, when the door to justice closes at the highest court, you turn over and inform the President as a last resort measure.

  10. Why does the m-dives have a court at all??? everyone knows muslims are never guilty.,,,,,,,, and the justice system there admitted its' own incapacity by needing the UNHRC to prosecute someone for 200 rufiyya.


Comments are closed.