President Mohamed Nasheed’s member on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Aishath Velezinee, proposed a motion without notice at today’s JSC meeting “to determine if Supreme Court Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla, current Chairman of the commission, meets the criteria of possessing a sound mind as required by article 139(c) clause three of the constitution.”
The meeting was cancelled when quorum was lost after Velezinee walked out in protest of the Chair’s alleged refusal to acknowledge the motion.
Velezinee’s motion states that Justice Adam Mohamed was exhibiting “symptoms of a person who has lost his mind” and proposed suspending him from the duties of a judge “until a psychiatric evaluation is conducted under state supervision.”
Attached to the motion was a document titled ‘The Serial Bully‘, drawn from the UK-based workplace bullying website detailing the symptoms of “sociopaths and psychopaths”.
Qualities on the list included “self-opinionated, emotionally retarded, deceptive, superior sense of entitlement and untouchability, financially untrustworthy, overbearing belief in their qualities of leadership, is spiritually dead although may loudly profess some religious belief or affiliation” and “may pursue a vindictive vendetta against anyone who dares to held them accountable.”
Velezinee claimed that the Chair was “systematically evading” the matter of appointing an interview panel to approve judges to the High Court bench, almost two months after the deadline for applications elapsed.
Moreover, as the JSC was yet to adopt a standard operating procedure – the deadline for which passed on January 26 – commission meetings were “under the will and whim of the Chair who refuses to permit the Secretary General to perform independently and exercise absolute control over the working of the Commission.
“As it is JSC can only discuss and decide what the Chair permits, and that, it has become increasingly evident, is nothing,” she said.
While the High Court bench currently has four judges, a three-judge bench is needed to conduct hearings.
Following the cancelled meeting, Ahmed Rasheed, representative of the law community on the JSC, expressed concern with the slow pace of the commission’s functioning.
Rasheed said that the growing backlog of pending tasks “raises questions about the sincerity of some members.”
On November 9, Rasheed joined Velezinee, General Public Member Shuaib Abdul Rahman and Attorney General Dr Ahmed Sawad to lodge letters of protest with the JSC after the Chair did not attend a meeting he had called.
Other members of the commission, Parliament Speaker Abdulla Shahid, MP Afrashim Ali, Civil Service Commission President Mohamed Fahmy Hassan and Judge Abdulla Didi, did not attend the meeting as well.
Velezinee also walked out of the meeting last Sunday, the first one after the 10-day public holiday, claiming the Chair refused to let her speak on the High Court appointments as it was not on the agenda.
Responding to the criticism of his handling of JSC meetings, Justice Adam Mohamed told Minivan News today that he did not refuse to table Velezinee’s motion.
“I saw the motion when I came to the meeting,” he said. “But when I started the meeting and tried to read out the agenda, she interrupted me, got angry and walked off.”
Justice Adam Mohamed also dismissed accusations that he was holding up JSC tasks, explaining that he has called for a number of meetings in past weeks in excess of the legal requirement of one meeting per month.
On the delay to the standard operating procedure and High Court appointments, the Supreme Court Justice said that the deadlines had elapsed when he assumed the chair in late August.
“If they are so concerned about it, they could have passed it since they have been on the commission for all that time,” he said.
Following the end of the interim period in early August, a new Supreme Court bench was hastily instituted by parliament, resulting in a hiatus for the commission until new members along with a new Chair could be appointed.
Justice Adam Mohamed revealed that the current agenda for JSC meetings was “two-pages long”, stressing that while he has authority to order items, “members have the discretion to prioritize an item if everyone wished.”
Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Dr Afrashim Ali meanwhile arrived at today’s meeting 20 minutes after it began and left shortly afterward.
Asked for a comment on the issues, Dr Afrashim explained that he only grants interview “if it is going to be shown live on TV”.