The Parliament on Saturday approved former Supreme Court (SC) Judge Ahmed Muthasim Adnan as the Chief Justice and former Attorney General (AG) Husnu al Suood as a judge on the apex bench.
During the vote taken during the last session of the Parliament's third term, 68 members approved Muthasim for the position while 64 members voted in favour of Suood. Nolhivaram MP Mohamed Nasheed was the only member to vote against the former AG.
Riotings involving parliament members belonging to opposition parties People's National Congress (PNC) and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) took place as the voting was ongoing, calling for the freedom of former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, recently imprisoned after being convicted on money laundering charges.
Despite the commotion caused by the MPs flocking near the administrative desk, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed continued parliament proceedings.
Muthasim was previously removed from the SC bench following an amendment brought to the Judicature Act in 2014, reducing the number of judges on the apex court's bench from seven to five.
At the time, Judicial Service Commission (JSC) provided counsel to remove two judges, including Muthasim - a suggestion that was upheld by the Parliament as well.
Muthasim sat on the Supreme Court bench from 2010 to 2014. Prior to this, he served as a member of the Maldives Law Commission, Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) and Foreign Investment's board of directors. He also previously filled the post of Director at Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Husnu al Suood, approved by the Parliament for the SC bench, holds a Masters degree in Law from theUniversity of Queensland, Australia.
He formerly was a member of JSC, the Chairman of Law Commission, the Chief Judge at Civil Court, the President of Maldives Bar Association (MBA) and a member of HRCM. He was a member of the "Special Majilis" assembled to complete the latest constitution and a notable contributor to the cause.
Suood, who most recently filled the post of President for the Presidential Commission on Investigation of Murders and Enforced Disappearances, received the National Award in recognition of his services.
Along with Suood, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih also sought counsel from JSC to appoint High Court Judge Abdul Rauf for the SC bench as well.
However, JSC did not make a decision over Rauf's name since the commission had received complaints about the judge. Therefore, the President did not forward Rauf's name to Parliament.
Three seats on the Supreme Court bench were vacated when Chief Justice Dr Ahmed Abdulla Didi and Judge Adam Mohamed were dismissed from their positions through a parliament vote over misconduct and Judge Abdulla Areef retired.
As per the constitution, judges for the apex court's bench will be selected by parliament approval from a list of names suggested by the President with JSC's council.
Currently, the only SC judges are Dr Azmiralda Zahir, Aisha Shujoon and Mahaaz Ali Zahir.