The Edition


Top court throws out petition on concerns about Maldivian judiciary

Farah Ahmed
30 August 2017, MVT 18:57
The 50 lawyers who signed the petition lined up in front of the Supreme Court. PHOTO / MIHAARU
Farah Ahmed
30 August 2017, MVT 18:57

The Supreme Court on Wednesday threw out a petition filed by 50 lawyers, expressing concern about the Maldivian judiciary.

Lawyer Mahfooz Saeed revealed that the apex court had claimed that it cannot accept such petitions.

In the petition, the lawyers had highlighted many procedural issues of the court they were concerned about. These include: the terrorism charges levied against political leaders of the country, unprecedented remand periods given to detainees, sentencing being carried out in absentia, and even issues related to bribing and threatening judges.

“We even raised concern about judges influencing each other’s duties and judges barring lawyers without plausible cause,” Saeed said.

The lawyers' concerns about the judicial watchdog, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), and the roles of the Attorney General (AG) and the Prosecutor General (PG) were also included in the petition, Saeed revealed.

Further, they had also noted how political matters were prioritised in the courts of law, and how cases involving public interest take a backseat in the Maldives’ judiciary.

“We also urged the courts to stray away from incidents that allow the public to accuse [the judges] of being corrupt and for the JSC to be more vigilant in their work in overseeing the judiciary.”

The petition had also requested the courts to refrain from publicising statements intimidating the press and warning them of contempt.