JSC reappoints 59 judges in ceremony, evicts Velezinee

The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) last night reappointed 59 sitting judges, including all but two of the judges currently serving in Male’ courts, swearing them during a closed-door oath-taking ceremony in the Supreme Court.

Minivan News understands that three members of the 10 member JSC were present during the oath-taking ceremony, including two members who were taking the oath as sitting judges, and opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Dr Afrasheem Ali.

A senior staff member of the JSC today told Minivan News he had been unaware the ceremony was taking place until he saw media reports, but said he felt there were “no legal issues” blocking the reappointments.

Meanwhile, President’s member of the Commission Aishath Velezinee, who has criticised the issuing of tenure to those judges appointed under the former administration as “robbing the nation of an honest judiciary”, claims she was locked outside the ceremony after attempting to intervene when she learned it was taking place.

Prior to being locked outside, Velezinee took to the podium and called on any judges who supported her position not to take the oath of office, however none did so.

“I don’t think the international community is going to accept that this is legitimate,” she said. “They locked members of the JSC out. The only ones present were Dr Afrasheem Ali and two judges on the commission, who took the oath themselves.”

People’s member on the Commission, Sheikh Shuaib Abdul Rahman, also objected to the JSC’s action, stating in an interview with Television Maldives (TVM) that while he supported reappointing judges and training them to improve their standard, he did not endorse granting life tenure to judges who did not meet the requirements.

Head of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), Supreme Court Justice Mujthaz Fahmy, answered his phone but did not respond to questions from Minivan News. His phone was subsequently switched off.

Parliament was due to debate a bill on judges in a special sitting of parliament on Saturday, to coincide with the constitutional deadline for reappointments of August 7.

Velezinee contends that parliament’s Independent Commissions Committee (ICC) did not issue an injunction against the reappointment pending investigation of her complaint that the JSC’s behaviour was contravening the Constitution, thus giving the JSC the opportunity to rush the appointments through before the passing of the bill.

Speaker Abdulla Shahid did not respond to calls today. But in a text message reportedly sent to Velezinee last night, Shahid expressed his “deep disappointment” that the event was organised without consulting him, and despite his request to Mujthaz Fahmy that the reappointments be held until Saturday after the bill on judges had been adopted.

According to the Constitution once tenured, judges can only be removed following allegations of gross misconduct and a two-thirds majority vote in parliament, the same number required to impeach the President or Vice President.

Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair said the government “regretted” the JSC’s decision to reappoint judges behind closed doors while the Majlis was “actively discussing and debating a decision on the bill on judges for the 7th, and despite this being communicated to the JSC.”

Zuhair claimed that as a consequence the reappointments were “not credible at all to a large section of society – and the whole point of the exercise was to establish credibility.”

The activities of the JSC were “legally questionable” Zuhair added, “and the government intends to follow up on it. Today we have received complaints that the commission has contravened the Constitution.”

Zuhair observed that while two members opposed the move to rush the reappointments – Velezinee and Sheikh Shuaib – “a common thread ties all the other eight members. They either belong to the opposition DRP, or they are strong supporters.”

“The outgoing government has made sure it would retain control of institutions like the judiciary,” he noted.

Zuhair explained that while the government was communicating with international institutions on the issue, such as the International Committee of Jurists (ICJ), “so far we have been advised to do everything possible to keep to ‘norms and standards’. But that’s difficult when of the 197 judges, only 35 have any recognised qualifications. All the others have a local diploma.

“We can’t dismiss the other 150 judges, because that would only leave 35 to take care of the rest of the country. There has to be a middle ground,” Zuhair suggested.

The government was working on “attractive” overseas training and retirement packages for judges, he added.


29 thoughts on “JSC reappoints 59 judges in ceremony, evicts Velezinee”

  1. There has to be a middle ground. I hope we are able to find one without publicly insulting the judiciary.

  2. What was that SCENE on TV last night?

    "fisaari" anhenun are so short-tempered!

    So SHOWY and so disgusting!

    And I thought she was a COOL lady!

    My God!

  3. I think Mujthaz Fahmy is senile. The man cannot reason or talk sense. He blubbers nonsense and dyes his hair black.

  4. @Sooraj

    What happened?

    You are mentioning the name of Mujthaz Fahmy like a prayer!

    Did you attempt to marry one of his products and get rejected?

    Why don't you and Mujthaz sit on a magic carpet and fly away for God's sake?

  5. The headline seems very fitting to describe the situation 'evicts velezinee' as though she is a sort of squatter who does not belong there after watching her antics on tv i would agree as she seems to be a bit lost echoing the bigger picture of nasheeds yellow governet which is a lot of barking yet no bite or balance

  6. But it wasnt suspicious that "while the parliament was to discuss the issue on the airport - the government signed the deal off ??????

  7. Velizinee, you rock. Here's hugging you. You have restored my faith in Maldivian women.You have shown the difference between the political culture of yore (n its dying throes), where people were afraid to speak up in their own offices, as opposed to the new aneh politcal culture of today where office bearers are FREE to speak up. The fact that they ostracized you in your own office is morbidly hilarious. Thank you for standing your ground and setting the record staraight. I promise you that in this country, Judges would be brought to Justice for doing the bidding of their political masters. Sooner r Later. Tks.

  8. Mujthaz fahumy, you and your cronies have robbed us Maldivians of an honest and impartial judiciary! shame on you. I wonder how you sleep at night or even if you do have a conscience at all! Kudos to Velezinee for not giving up, even at the last minute

  9. Maumoon looted the country bone dry. Anni can't figure out how to bring stability to the country. But it is the judiciary that will be the final nail in the coffin of the country's future. People with the helm of justice is now given life tenure to do whatever they want. They couldn't do anything right while they were under pressure to do so. How are they going to do anything now that they have no fear of any consequences.

  10. Velezinee--Thank you for trying!! It was great to see such courage. Someday insha allah those judges would face the consequences for what they done.! never know, it might be in the form a very angry mob ....

  11. The people of Maldives owe a huge debt to Velizinee. We are a nation of 350,000 people; but only one person dared to speak up against the infamy that was being conducted in the courthouse. Shame on all of you, you fat-fee charging lawyers, bribe-taking politicians, virgin-crazy mullahs, money-crazy journalists, and rent-seeking businesspeople. Last night, Judicial Service Commission had sown the wind; the people shall reap the storm. And only Velizinee can sleep with a clear conscience. Shame on all of us!

  12. Excellent work Velzinee.

    Unfortunately... because of the DRPA/JSC the ordinary maldivians now start to suffer corruption ... including our childrens children.

  13. Gayoom: Well done, Abdullah Shahid! I know you'll do wonders. That's why we put you as the Speaker of Majilis.

    Abdullah Shahid: (smiling from ear to ear)I told you Anni can have the government. But I got the Judiciary and the Parliament right in my fist.

    Gayoom: You are the King, Abdullah Shahid! Let Anni sit there for a while. Nothing will get done in this 5 years. We'll make sure of that. We'll get the people tired of him. And soon, it will be our time again.

    Abdullah Shahid: Of course... I got to do something about the Chief Justice issue. Abdullah Saeed is a key person for us. Now we got to speak to Faiz (nominee for CJ)and see what we can work out with him...

    Gayoom: Ok... I hope you can work something out on that. But with people like Mujuthaz Fahumy, Abdullah Mohamed, Naeem and Bari secured, we will not have a problem keeping Yameen, Jangiya and Gasim out of problems.

    Anyway, congratulations on your hard, cunning work, Abdullah Shahid!

  14. so they are saying the current human rights commision wouldn't be legitimate after sunday ...so could that be applied to the remaining judges aswell ? cos the "inthigaalee maruhalaa" is over... So are the judges caught between a rock and a hard place...damned if they do and damned if they dont

  15. @Kaheenu

    Thanks Kaheenu. I got that clip downloaded.

    But I can only hear a commotion and an AGITATED lady and a voice similar to our President!

    I think you used a rather trembling FAT finger to click upload.

    Can you use your middle finger and upload the exact correct clip this time?

  16. When people plan to further their special interests by intimidation, harassment, blackmailing, bribing and using mobs, they must also accept that there will be others who wants to further their special interests using various methods.

  17. @Ayya

    "Velizinee, you rock. Here’s hugging you."

    Whaaat is this? Only HUGGING?!

  18. @kaheenu

    Separation of Powers! Abdullah Shaahid not only has the control of the Parliament and Judiciary, but also the access to the international community in the way he wants. Dr. Shaheed may think he has control of the High Commissions but the truth is it is Abdullah Shaahid who has and most of the Commissioners report/inform back to Abdullah Shaahid. The people in the High Commissions are his very close associates and or relations put in place when he was the Foreign Minister. One may wonder whether the Government's message is correctly passed to the bulk of the international community based in Sri Lanka.

    Yes Abdullah Shaahid is laughing and he will do what he likes, forget the interests of the Maldivians.

  19. @Deejay
    "you fat-fee charging lawyers, bribe-taking politicians, virgin-crazy mullahs, money-crazy journalists, and rent-seeking businesspeople."

    I would like to add more;

    Sun orbitting Earth,
    Earth orbitting Moon,
    Night twinkling stars,
    Bed wetting babies,
    Honey making bees,
    Loud barking BITCHES!

    So on and so forth, especially the last one!

  20. I saw Velizinee video in youtube, she was acting like a stupid person. i had a respect for her before, but NOT now. One person freedom fighter is the other persons terrorist. Same like prabakarn of LTTE.

  21. @HassanK:
    "Anni can’t figure out how to bring stability to the country"....

    Has he figured out what to have for breakfast yet..?

    (It also probably doesn't help that he's surrounded by morons and midgets, with little capacity to advise..?)

  22. I just saw Velezinee's video on youtube.

    I don't know whether Velezinee is right or wrong but I am astonished at her courageousness.

    Obviously Velezinee thinks she is doing the right thing by trying to to prevent corrupt judges from taking oath. I am sure many people will agree with her. But I am also sure not many will be as brave as her to actually try to stop the process the way she did.

    It may not be the nicest thing to do. And it appeared to me she was fully aware of this fact. It may not be the best way to do it either. But she was composed and her language was pretty formal. She pleaded with respect.

    And from what all we have been hearing recently, Velezinee tried in many ways to make this process an acceptable one. But when everything failed, she had no choice but to accept defeat. Yet she tried every possible thing before she withdrew herself from the scene. One woman can do only so much. No?

    So in a way, I admire her for her courageousness. And if she is right, I am saddened that she is alone in this fight. After all, she claims to be fighting for something we and our future generations will all benefit.

  23. Anni is unfortunately, is suffering from a Napolean syndrome. He is trying to overcompensate for his small stature, by trying to be an uncompromising bully. At four foot five, Anni is the smallest head of state in the world.

  24. Congrats to all the judges. Say NO to all paatey activists like Velezinee.

  25. Those who fight for the rights of the people and expose the crimes of the previous regime will be labeled paateys, or vuvuzelas or whatever by the opposition.

    They should be happy to exist without Anni rolling in the tanks and machine-gunning them all to bits.

  26. Well this just proves that our dear judges are a bunch of clowns and criminals! They are even taking their oath in secret in order to be done with it, be it constitutional or not, so that they can then fall back on the constitution and say that they can't be removed from their positions! And of course pathetic maumoon followers like Afrashim and men who feel inferior and threatened by the words and courage of a single woman can only resort to "stealing" the positions of judges from more qualified and ethical judges who rightly deserve and have the guts to serve justice! When the judges themselves are thieves and criminals, what do they know about JUSTICE!! As rightly stated by a previous comment, shame on all of us for sitting back and watching and in some cases critisizing Velzinee fight all alone for the good of our country and our generations to come!

    Irrespective of what anyone says, today there is only one person who is brave enough to openly fight against a bunch of corrupt judges, the majority of the JSC members and the Opposition...and that is Vel! Bravo and may Allah protect you and give you more and more courage to stand up against these pathetic bullies who even bring shame to the profession of Judges! And btw Afrashim, before you talk about other people's morality, learn to speak the truth! And like it or not, today it is "only" a woman speaking up against your corrupt activities, while you support a bunch of corrupt and vile criminals! Hope you know the right prayers to atone for your sins!


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