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Supreme Court cancels Hassan Shiyam's candidacy

Mariyath Mohamed
28 March 2024, MVT 17:27
Ali Azim and Hassan Shiyam participating in the debate held by PSM News -- Photo: PSM News
Mariyath Mohamed
28 March 2024, MVT 17:27

Supreme Court has ruled today that Hassan Shiyam (VB Shiyam) who was contesting for the Central Henveiru constituency as an independent candidate does not meet the eligibility criteria for candidacy in the parliamentary election.

The case was submitted to the Supreme Court by Ilyas Ahmed of Henveiru Queen, who is the brother of Ali Azim, the current MP for the same constituency.

The case submitted by Ilyas said that with High Court issuing a verdict on February 13 against the appeal case submitted by Hassan, there is now a decreed debt against Hassan.

However, although the High Court verdict does declare that Hassan has a decreed debt, the Court added that the verdict cannot be interpreted to mean that he is not maying the due payments to settle said debt.

Article 73 (c) of the Constitution states that a candidate will be disqualified from election as a member or parliament if they have a decreed debt which is not being paid as provided in the judgement.

Hassan is listed among the 11 guarantors of a number of loans taken by Crystal Lagoon Resort from State Bank of India: a loan of USD 10 million in 2006, and another loan of MVR 64 million in 2008. Both these loans remained unpaid as the deadline for repayment passed.

SBI then submitted a case to the Civil Court asking for a ruling that the guarantors take responsibility for the repayment of the loan. Civil Court ruled in the case that the 11 guarantors must pay back the the loan amount, interest and fines withing a period of eight months.

As the guarantors did not act in accordance with the ruling, SBI later submitted another case regarding the implementation of the verdict. While the Court is working on implementation of the ruling, they have granted SBI the permission to sell two resorts which were mortgaged for the loan.

After these two resorts were sold, Hassan submitted a case to the Civil Court, seeking a finding that following these sales, until the court further decides on the amount that remains to be paid by the guarantors, it be determined that the guarantors do not hold any decreed debt.

The Civil Court decided that it cannot issue such a ruling.

Hassan then appealed the matter at the High Court. The High Court, however, on February 13, ruled that there is no reason to change Civil Court's ruling. The High Court ruling said that unless in such an instance where the court or an appellate court orders the delaying of implementation, it is obligatory by law to abide by every court's ruling.

"Without seeing if the loan can be repaid through selling mortgaged property, even if for the moment it is prohibited to implement the ruling on guarantors under Article 161 of the Civil Court's Civil Procedures, even at that time it must be considered that there is a decreed debt on the guarantors. However, in those circumstances, the guarantors cannot be considered as individuals who are not paying back the debt as ruled," the ruling reads.

This same issue of the debt surfaced when Hassan ran for parliament in 2019. At the time, the Elections Commission refused to accept his candidacy due to this debt. He submitted the issue to Supreme Court which ruled that the commission must accept the form and that there are no questions around his eligibility.

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