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High Court annuls LGA policy on punitive measures against councils

Fathmath Shaahunaz
15 September 2020, MVT 15:05
Entrance to the High Court of Maldives in Male' City. FILE PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
15 September 2020, MVT 15:05

The High Court on Tuesday annulled the Local Government Authority (LGA)'s policy on suspending and issuing warnings to councillors.

Compiled in 2016, several councillors were suspended in 2018 under LGA's policy on classifying unlawful actions and steps for reform taken by the local councils.

A constitutional case to annul the policy was filed at the High Court by Raeefa Abdul Wa'haab and Zimna Abdul Muhsin.

At the court hearing, the state also conceded that the policy must be declared void.

In its verdict, the High Court noted that although LGA's policy was formed under Article 149 of the 'Act on Decentralisation of the Administrative Divisions of the Maldives', the article in question specifically reads that LGA has the power to made a decision in matters where "a dispute breaks out between two councils or over an issue which has not been specified in this Act".

Highlighting that the Article did not concern punitive actions to be taken against councils, the ruling declared that LGA's policy was issued outside the framework of the law.

The verdict was passed unanimously the judges Hathif Hilmy, Abdulla Hameed and Shuaib Hussain Zakariyya.

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