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Chief Justice and Supreme Court Judge sacked

Shahudha Mohamed
18 November 2019, MVT 14:04
Chief Justice Dr Ahmed Abdulla Didi (R) and Supreme Court Judge Adam Mohamed Abdulla. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
18 November 2019, MVT 14:04

The parliament on Monday passed the motion to dismiss Chief Justice Dr Ahmed Abdulla Didi and Judge Adam Mohamed Abdulla of the Supreme Court from their positions.

As per the constitution, a judge can only be dismissed through a parliamentary vote based on a motion put forward by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). The motion must be passed with a majority vote by one-third of the members present in the session.

A total of 69 members voted to dismiss the Chief Justice and Judge Adam during Monday's session. Nine MPs voted against the motion while one member abstained from voting.

Parliamentarians of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the largest party of the ruling coalition, celebrated the dismissals with loud applause.

The judicial watchdog raised 15 allegations against the Chief Justice, including acting outside Supreme Court's jurisdiction and using the court's power to hinder and obstruct the workings of JSC and the parliament.

According to JSC, Chief Justice and Judge Adam both committed acts that brought their discipline into question. Due to the nature of the investigations, JSC added that the duo must be relieved from their duties as well.

JSC decided to dismiss the two judges last Wednesday, a decision that was upheld by the parliament's Judiciary Committee.

In response to the allegations against him, Didi declared that there was no basis for him to answer JSC's report.

Although Chief Justice and Judge Adam were voted out, Supreme Court, in 2017, delivered a verdict stating that the court has the final say on dismissing the President, Vice President, ministers, top officials of independent organizations and judges through a no-confidence vote by the parliament.

Didi was appointed as Chief Justice on June 28, 2018. He received his higher education from Al Azhar University in Egypt and holds a First Class Honours PhD in Public International Law. He started his practice as a lawyer in 1996.

Didi sat on the Supreme Court bench from 2010 until his appointment as Chief Justice. Moreover, he filled the post of the parliament’s Council General in 2010 and was the Deputy Attorney General from 2008 to 2009.

Judge Adam Mohamed received his first degree from Sharia and Law in 1995 from Al Azhar University as well and was appointed to the Supreme Court's bench on August 10, 2010.

He was formerly a member of Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and even filled the post of the commission's President, in addition to sitting on the High Court bench.

Moreover, he was a lecturer for Sharia and Law from 1995 to 1997.

This is the third time that a Chief Justice was removed from the position. Former Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz was dismissed through a no-confidence vote while former Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed was sacked when the Judicature Act was amended. Abdulla Saeed was also formerly convicted of a crime.

As per the latest amendment to the Judicature Act, once a judge is convicted and his appeal process ends, he will be removed from his position.