An emergency motion against the appointment of two female judges to the Supreme Court was submitted to the parliament on Monday.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih recently forwarded the names of former High Court Judge Dr Azmiralda Zahir and former Civil Court Judge Aisha Shujoon Mohamed to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for consultation on appointing them to the Supreme Court bench.
The parliament accepted the motion and debates are currently ongoing.
The motion submitted by Nolhivaram MP Mohamed Nasheed Abdulla was proposed on the basis that the appointments would contradict Islamic principles and law. The motion added that Maldives' highest authority on issuing 'fatwa', nonbinding legal opinions on points of Islamic law, stated that the appointer of a female judge would be sinful along with the woman appointed.
The Nolhivaram MP highlighted that religious scholars had expressed concern over the possibility of the two women being appointed to the bench.
However, the motion did not mention any of the women currently serving in the judicial system.
A female judge was first appointed in Maldives twelve years ago during the presidency of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, a qualified Islamic scholar.
The former president recently defended the practice of appointing women as judges, noting that several Islamic scholars were of the opinion that it was permissible. The scholars he mentioned were Al-Tabari, Ibn Hazm, Hasanul Basri, Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, Abdul Kareem Zaidan and Saeed Ramadan.