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High Court supports ACC's decision regarding tug boat case

Shahudha Mohamed
28 July 2019, MVT 14:09
The Anti Corruption Commission. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
28 July 2019, MVT 14:09

High Court on Thursday issued a verdict stating that Anti Corruption Commission (ACC)'s order to halt the payments for a tug boat issued by Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) was within the law.

MPL contracted the construction of the tug boat to Centre Enterprises. In 2012, ACC ordered MPL to withhold the remaining payments due to a case under investigation at the commission.

Centre Enterprises pressed charges against ACC, requesting a compensation of MVR 815 million in damages. However, the company later omitted the compensation fee and requested the court to investigate ACC's actions.

Civil Court at the time sentenced that no illegal activities were proven to be carried out by corruption watchdog.

When Centre Enterprises appealed the case in High Court, the High Court also upheld the lower court's verdict.

High Court further stated that ACC had issued the order over a case under investigation at the time and notified MPL to continue the payments as seen fit by MPL's board once the investigation had concluded.

The verdit further read that there were disputes between MPL and Centre Enterprises over the tug boat agreement prior to ACC's order and therefore it was unlikely that the agreement was affected by ACC's actions.

Additionally, as per the verdict, the power to investigate and take measures in alleged cases of corruption is vested in ACC by the law. The court stated that the commission was not acting outside of their capacity.

Listing these points, the bench of judges in this case unanimously agreed to uphold the Civil Court's verdict.

Chief Judge Shujau Usman, Judge Hussain Shaheed and Judge Shuaib Hussain Zakariyya sat on the bench in this case. Cheif Judge Shujau was the presiding judge.

Centre Enterprises also pressed several charges against MPL over the tug boat agreement. Some of these cases are currently ongoing.

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