Parliament is set to vote on the validity of the Judicial Service Commission’s decision to suspend Supreme Court Justice Abdulla Didi.
The JSC is investigating Didi after it was alleged he took a US$1 million bribe in 2015 to sentence former President Mohamed Nasheed to 13 years in jail.
Didi is also being investigated for allegedly receiving money from the $90 million embezzlement of resort acquisition fees by the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation.
Parliament’s Judiciary Committee came to the conclusion last night that the Supreme Court had obstructed the JSC by ordering a stay on Didi’s suspension.
The decision was taken after the JSC was questioned by the committee. Members of the JSC described an environment in which its every decision was challenged by the Supreme Court.
The majority of the Judiciary Committee’s members agreed that the Supreme Court had acted beyond its legal remit when lifting Didi’s suspension.
In a full-frontal assault, MP Moosa Siraj said the Supreme Court is a direct threat to justice in the Maldives. He also agreed that the top court’s stay violated the constitution and obstructed the work of the JSC.
Former Human Rights Commission member and lawmaker Jeehan Mahmoudh agreed with the JSC that the Supreme Court was obstructing its work. She said parliament needed to decide whether the Supreme Court’s stay was legal.
Jumhoory Party lawmaker Ali Hussain also agreed the Supreme Court was obstructing the work of the JSC. However, he said parliament cannot decide whether an action taken by an independent state institution was legal.
Meanwhile, Didi has submitted a complaint to police against five members of the JSC. The police department is yet to announce whether the complaint requires a criminal investigation.
In response to Didi’s move, JSC member Hisaan Hussain said judicial reform would continue come what may.
“We’ve stood steadfast in this course in far worse conditions. Arrests, threats of arrest, suspensions, summons, investigations, harassment and every other intimidation trick under the sun. We didn’t give up then. Judicial reform is imperative whether [the] Supreme Court likes it or not,” Hisaan tweeted.
In a further development, the Supreme Court on Monday issued an order nullifying any and all action taken by the government that contravene’s the court’s stay on Didi’s suspension.
The court said the JSC’s suspension of Didi was illegal and could be considered contempt of court.