Supreme Court decides on providing living allowance to judicial staff

The Supreme Court has decided to provide a living allowance to all judicial staff to ensure that they remain unbiased in their work.

A circular released last night – signed by Chief Justice Abdullah Saeed – read that, in order ensure the independence and integrity of staff who are working towards ensuring the rights of the general public and fulfilling constitutional responsibilities, it is necessary to provide them with a reasonable compensation.

The living allowance was approved by amending Article 53 of the judicial staff regulations by the Supreme Court in accordance with the powers vested to the Supreme Court by the Constitution.

The amount to be given out to staff as the living allowance will be decided by the Judicial Administration Department as per the amendment.

Source: Haveeru


Police investigating MDP MP Sameer for “creating public mistrust” towards the Supreme Court

The Maldives Police Service are investigating MDP MP Ahmed Sameer over allegations of creating public mistrust towards the Supreme Court.

Sameer is Vice Chair of parliament’s Independent Commissions Oversight Committee, responsible for oversight of the judicial watchdog, among others.

The case was filed by the Department of Judicial Administration on September 12, with reference to an interview Sameer had given to local newspaper Haveeru.

The interview, published on 6 September, focused on the Supreme Court ruling against Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) regarding the border control system, and the ensuing statement by ACC.

In the interview, Sameer is quoted as saying, “I am concerned that the Supreme Court has not considered the ACC’s mandate, it’s future and it’s objective. The Supreme Court will need to take responsibility for the all barriers to stopping corruption caused by this ruling.

“The commission has now been made a toothless lion. That isn’t right. The ACC must have the authority to obtain court orders. It won’t be easy to do this through the PG everytime,” he continued.

Sameer had further described the court ruling as having a personal prejudice behind it. He said, “I see it as a personal decision. This is because at a time when ACC is investigating corruption allegations against the Supreme Court itself, the court has made a ruling which takes away the ACC’s powers.”

Haveeru Deputy Editor, Hussain Fiyaz Moosa, was summoned to police offices on Monday. He was asked for confirmation as to whether the quotes attributed to Sameer in the article were actually said by him.

Police Media Official Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef has said that the investigation is ongoing. He confirmed that Sameer had not yet been summoned for questioning.

Department of Judicial Administration has earlier filed a case against MDP Chairperson and MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik, who is now to appear in court for having ‘opened his own court’ last year.

MP Ahmed Sameer’s phone was switched off at the time of press. Local media has reported that he is out of the country.


Court case completion rate drops 29 percent

The Judicial Administration Department completed 29 percent fewer cases in 2010 than in 2009, in spite of a decrease in cases submitted to the court.

Only 2,484 out of the 3,057 cases submitted last year were concluded. In 2009, 3,488 were completed.

Meanwhile, magistrate courts in the islands closed 840 criminal cases while 1,644 cases were completed by the superior courts, reported Haveeru.

Nearly 1000 fewer criminal cases were reported to the courts in 2010 than in 2009.

The magistrate courts in the islands received 900 criminal cases in 2010 compared to the 1,433 cases received the previous year while 2,157 cases were filed at the superior courts in capital Male.

Phone calls made to the Criminal Court were dismissed at reception, and media personnel were unavailable at designated times and phone numbers. One media contact would not address the issue.

Chief Judge Abdullah Mohamed refused to comment on the matter, and forwarded the phone call to a media officer who had previously refused to comment as well.

Registrar Ali Adam also said he was unable to discuss the matter.