The civil court ordered the defence ministry on Monday to reinstate a senior military officer who was unfairly dismissed in the wake of President Abdulla Yameen’s inauguration in November 2013.
Sergeant Major Naushad Ali was among nine high-ranking officers fired over accusations of sowing discord within the military ahead of the 2013 presidential election.
The civil court first ordered his reinstatement in October 2014 but the ruling was challenged before the high court. However, the appellate court refused to hear the appeal, a decision that was later upheld upon review by the supreme court.
Citing the failed appeals in its judgment yesterday, the civil court ordered the defence ministry to reinstate Naushad within 14 days and to compensate him for lost salary and allowances.
Naushad was reportedly the bodyguard of former President Mohamed Nasheed. He was among several soldiers who signed a letter in November 2013 expressing concern about the delays in concluding polls by the end of the presidential term on November 11.
Naushad was accused of failing to inform his superiors of the letter.
After the letter was leaked online, the Maldives National Defence Force amended its regulations at the time to punish officers who promote “upheaval and chaos.”
As the possibility of holding presidential polls by the end of the presidential term dimmed following police obstruction and Supreme Court orders, some 73 mid-ranking officers had also circulated an appeal calling on fellow soldiers not to obey any “unlawful” orders issued by then-President Dr Mohamed Waheed or his political appointees.
The firing spree in November 2013, days after Yameen assumed office, was the first of a series of purges of the security forces carried out by his administration.
In late August, eight soldiers were detained at the military barracks on charges of canvassing for support within the MNDF for Yameen’s ouster. Four soldiers were later dismissed and placed under investigation
The army has also barred soldiers from meeting politicians, including ministers, and foreigners without prior permission.