The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the former head of the Marine Police, Ibrahim Adnan Anees, was sacked unlawfully.
The former Chief Superintendent of Police Adnan was dismissed in August 2012 over his alleged involvement in a report issued by the then-opposition, which claimed that the Maldivian police and military had staged a coup.
Although the Civil Court ruled in 2014 that Adnan was terminated wrongfully, the High Court overturned the verdict in 2018.
However, the apex court in its ruling on Wednesday noted that the prosecution failed to prove that the police's Disciplinary Board reached the decision to terminate Adnan based on sound evidence.
The Supreme Court highlighted that the High Court ruled the dismissal as lawful based solely on Adnan's decision to remain silent during the police investigation. It also highlighted that the lower court had not taken into account the reasons that the Disciplinary Board did or did not consider before they terminated him.
Hence, Justices Dr Azmiralda Zahir, Aisha Shujune and Mahaz Ali Zahir, who presided over the case, unanimously agreed to overturn the High Court ruling and uphold the Civil Court verdict.
The top court did not order Maldives Police Service to reinstate Adnan or compensate him for damages incurred however, as Adnan had not initially made such requests at the lowest court.
Although the prosecution had defended the police's decision to sack Adnan during the trials at the Civil Court and High Court, the state admitted during the Supreme Court hearings that Adnan was fired unlawfully. However, the state had differing opinions regarding compensation.
During the current administration which came to power with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's inauguration in November 2018, it is of note that the courts have reinstated a number of senior police officers that were previously dismissed in addition to Adnan, including the incumbent Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed. He was among the officers sacked in August 2012, until the Supreme Court ordered his reinstatement during the present government.