Supreme Court to rule in defamation case against self

The Supreme Court has issued a writ of prohibition and taken over a defamation case against it filed in the Civil Court by Ibrahim ‘Ibra’ Ismail.

The Supreme Court order issued today states that it had learned that the Civil Court had accepted a defamation suit filed by Ibra. It ordered the lower court not to take “any action regarding the said case” and to send “all the documents in the case file, including all actions taken since the case was filed as well as the minutes” to the court before 3:30pm this afternoon.

The writ of prohibition was signed by Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz.

Ibra, a member of the Constitution Draft Committee of the former Special Majlis, longstanding Male’ MP and founding member of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), had filed the case against the Supreme Court after it reprimanded him for calling on the public to “rise up and sort out the judges”.

In response to Ibra’s calls, the Supreme Court and the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) demanded authorities investigate the former MP, claiming that “making such statements in a free, democratic society under lawful governance goes against the principles of civilisation”.

Ibra responded by filing a defamation suit in the Civil Court against the Supreme Court.

But today, “The documents and everything have been handcuffed and taken to the Supreme Court,” Ibra told Minivan News.

“Initially [the Civil Court] was of the opinion that the case was not in their jurisdiction, because it involved the Supreme Court. But I appealed to the registrar, outlined my argument, and the second time they agreed they could and should accept the case,” Ibra said.

“I paid my fees, and was waiting for them to hold the first hearing. Then today I had a call from newspaper Haveeru asking me to comment on the Supreme Court’s taking over the case – I replied that no one had told me about it and I was not in a position to comment. Later my lawyer called and said the Supreme Court had published the writ on their website.”

As a result, Ibra said, “I now have to go before the Supreme Court and say to them ‘You have defamed me, now please decide in my favour.’”

Ibra has previously observed that the act of an appellate court taking over the jurisdiction of a trial court was unprecedented “in any democratic country, anywhere in the world.”

“Even in cases of a mistrial, the instruction is to retry the case. Appellate courts don’t sit on trials. And they are systematically doing it – at least three cases so far. What they are effectively doing is influencing the independence of the trial court. The significance of that is that if trial court judges cannot be independent of the higher court, there is no room for appeals. Because the decision is going to be the Supreme Court decision,” Ibra told Minivan News.

“I don’t see how they can sit in judgement on themselves,” Ibra said today. “Every single defamation case until now has been tried in the Civil Court. Just because the Supreme Court is involved doesn’t mean the Civil Court should not hear the case – the Supreme Court is obstructing the process of justice.”

The fact that the decision to take over the case from the Civil Court implied that a majority of the seven Supreme Court judges had elected to do so, Ibra said.

“This means the majority of the Supreme Court judges are not cognisant of the principles of natural justice, and are clearly trying to obstruct the provision of judge to a citizen claiming his fundamental right as guaranteed in black and white in the Constitution.

“This is not about Ibra. If they can do this to Ibra they are setting a precedent to do it to just about anyone.”

He suggested that the Supreme Court’s action today “establishes what I originally claimed. We as citizens – the public – have to do something. We can’t let seven idiots hijack the justice system of the entire country.”


19 thoughts on “Supreme Court to rule in defamation case against self”

  1. what we are seeing is the executive power i.e the president and his idiots like ibra trying to hijack the entire justice system of the country. we as citizens - the public need to do something about this.

  2. I am glad Ibra is willing to do this. These seven judges have turned the judicial system in the country into a joke.

  3. It is universally known that Gayoom tried to over turn the election. Police Lt. Abdulla Riyaaz told all his friends that Gayoom was an idiot and too late to change. He said Gayoom with 30 years of experience failed ( to create a coup) when it mattered most. I believe him.

  4. Is Umar Naseer running Gayoom or is Gayoom using Umar Naseer to get back to power.

  5. Nice dogfight.

    What would we do without entertainment like this?

    Politicization of the judiciary is a huge issue in Sri Lanka even as we speak.

    Our judiciary is yet young. It has made progress in some areas that we should note. Ibra is a pragmatic man however his recent actions display an activism never seen before from him.

    More focus should be given to the supply chain. The funds for the Access to Justice program should be used to strengthen existing capacity within the judiciary as well as the training institutes in the country.

  6. Ibra must be overjoyed. He seeks limelight and visibility.Now he is getting what he seeks.
    You cannot prosecute the Supreme Court.
    If the judges are incompetent then Majlis should impeach them and remove them from the Supreme Court.Stupid!

  7. I think Ibra will be feeling like a fool now. He grossly miscalculated the authority of the Supreme Court.

  8. Ibra is correct. How many of you would honestly trust these judges to preside over your case with impartiality and understanding if you were hauled before the court for something you said, or perhaps, for something you were falsely accused of? Those of you who can flatter the power brokers who control the judges with sincere sounding words, THAT is all!

    Most of the readers here must know how much pain it is to feel separated from their beloved Maldives, which many Maldivians living abroad ache and burn for, out of fear, the fear that they may have done things which had been seen as anti-Maumoon, or anti-Islamic. All because they do not trust that a Maldivian court would see their point of view if they were hauled before the court?

    Quite frankly, I don't know any Maldivians living abroad who have NOT done something which could be "constructed" as being anti-Islamic. All that they have to do is offend some powerbroker, some one controlling the courts, and their actions would very quickly be constructed as being anti-Islamic... and they would be charged!

    An example?

    Why do some Maldivians get drunk as all hell abroad, everyone knows it, and yet, they are completely safe, yet others have a small sip of beer and are imprisoned for it!

    Why do many have sex with all sorts of prostitutes, all sorts of ppl, boast about it, yet are completely safe, where as others simply express the act of love once out of wedlock, and are whipped for it!

    Ibra is correct, and if any don't support what he is trying to achieve for antti-Ibra reasons, you are one heck of a graceless soul indeed!

    Perhaps you lament the freedom Ibra is trying to create only because it is a threat to your own POWER, stop disguising your own lust in virtuous, noble sentiments, it is SICK!

  9. Any of you with an inch of Grace in your heart would struggle for this cause, please get behind Ibra guys, maybe you don't like him, but this cause is good!

  10. I agree with Ibra fully! Supreme Court cannot be judging a case against them. It would be a clear case of conflict of interest. The Judiciary has done some good work but need to do a lot more for citizens to gain confidence!

  11. This guy called Ibra got less than 1% in the presidential election, less than what Umar Naseer got and less than void votes. After losing to Maria in the Majlis elections he himself accepted that people do not accept him as a politician anymore. So he decided to play “boy” of Anni… Pathetic.

  12. People criticising Ibra does not know about the court system. Supreme court cannot on its own do anything about a case.
    Supreme Court can only accept cases filed in the Supreme Court. They cannot just decide to overule any court unless a case has been filed in the Supreme Court.
    Also there is a reason why all the judges gives a separate brief at the end of the cases. The problem in Maldives is that most people including the judges do not know the court system yet. Supreme Court is not the building nor is it the Chief Judge. There should not be a Chief Judge in the Supreme Court. All judges are equal.
    It is time the Public sorted out our Judiciary and also the Majlis. If we do that automatically the Executive would be put in place.

  13. Next time when they take me to court I will rule myself and you all know my judgement. If they are not civilized why should we be?

  14. Supreme Court is behaving just like Ibra, and actually just like any other Maldivian. When a Maldivian is cornered, he panicks. Ibra has panicked. So has the Supreme Court.


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