The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Saud Hussain of Villingili constituency has not lost his seat in parliament.
The Elections Commission (EC) had declared Saud, along with 12 other lawmakers, disqualified from parliament in relation to the Supreme Court's prickly anti-defection ruling last year, which stated that any lawmaker who resigned or was dismissed after July 13, 2017 from the political party they were registered at during the time of their election to parliament, would lose their seat by default.
While Saud was dismissed from ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) due to a disciplinary issue in April that year prior to the top court ruling, the EC had maintained its decision to unseat him.
In the verdict announced Monday, more than a year after MP Saud filed at the Supreme Court to overturn the EC's decision, the court noted that the EC did not deny that PPM had informed the commission of Saud's dismissal from the party prior to the anti-defection ruling. The verdict also highlighted that Saud had not appealed PPM's decision to expel him from the party.
Hence the five judges of the Supreme Court's bench unanimously decided to overturn the EC's decision to unseat Saud, and reinstate the lawmaker.
Saud is amongst 12 MPs, formerly of PPM, that were declared ousted by EC in connection to the top court ruling on anti-defection in 2017. While all the MPs had filed cases to overturn the EC's decision, the Supreme Court has held hearings only for Saud, Thulusdhoo MP Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim, Dhidhdhooo MP Abdul Latheef Mohamed, and Maduvvari MP Mohamed Ameeth to date.
The Supreme Court announced the verdicts for all four lawmakers in separate hearings held Monday, annulling EC's decision to disqualify them from parliament.