Supreme Court issues injunction blocking appointment of new CSC head

The Supreme Court has issued an injunction to halt parliament’s appointment of a replacement president for the Civil Service Commission (CSC), after parliament voted to appoint Fathimath Reenee Abdulsathar of Maafannu Unimaage to the commission.

Renee had been due to replace CSC Head Fahmy Hassan, after the Majlis’s decision to dismiss the CSC chair last year over allegations of sexual abuse. His termination was likewise blocked by a Supreme Court injunction.

The latest injunction came just as Reenee was due to take the oath in the President’s Office and receive her credentials from President Dr Mohamed Waheed this afternoon. A special ceremony to present credentials and take the oath of office had been scheduled at the President’s Office at 2:30pm, local media reported.

According to newspaper Haveeru, the Supreme Court’s injunction stated that the court’s majority had determined that appointing a new member to the commission when the Supreme Court had already decided that the dismissal was in violation of the constitution, was itself unconstitutional.

Local media reports said Attorney General Azima Shukoor had in her legal advice to the president in the matter stated that the president did not have any responsibility for determining members to the CSC, and that the only responsibility for the president was to appoint or dismiss appointees as determined by parliament.

On 13 August, 51 out of 54 MPs present in the parliament voted in favor of appointing Reenee as Fahmy’s replacement, while the remaining three abstained.

In November last year parliament voted 38 – 32 to remove the CSC chair after the Independent Institutions Committee investigated a complaint of sexual harassment lodged by a female employee of the CSC.

On 14 March 2013 the Supreme Court ruled that parliament’s decision to remove Fahmy from his position was not based on reasonable grounds and invalidated the decision.

Local newspaper Haveeru reported that the alleged sexual harassment incident occurred on 29 May 2012, and that the victim was a female senior research officer.

On June 17, Parliament’s Independent Institutions Committee launched an investigation into the alleged harassment.

Fahmy was alleged to have called a female staff member over to him, taken her hand and asked her to stand in front of him so that others in the office could not see, and caressed her stomach saying ”it won’t do for a beautiful single woman like you to get fat.”

According to local media, the woman told her family about the incident, who then called Fahmy. Fahmy then sent her a text message apologising for the incident, reportedly stating, ”I work very closely with everyone. But I have learned my lesson this time.”