President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Monday signalled his support for the Judicial Service Commission’s decision to suspend Supreme Court Justice Adbulla Didi and reassured the public of his commitment to judicial reform.
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.
He 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.
The Supreme Court lifted Didi’s suspension within 24 hours. However the commission voted to disregard the court’s order.
Parliament’s Judicial Oversight Committee meanwhile concluded that the apex court’s order obstructed the work of the JSC and is set to vote on the issue on the floor of parliament.
However, a defiant Supreme Court issued a statement on Monday declaring that both JSC’s decision to suspend Didi and parliament’s decision to uphold the suspension are unlawful.
Responding to the legal logjam, Solih urged state powers not to interfere with the work of independent institutions and to respect legislative, executive and judicial independence.
“According to the constitution, the three powers of the state are independent from each other. The constitution also says that independent institutions shall be free from influences by other such bodies or state power,” the statement said.
Solih appeared to dismiss the Supreme Court’s ruling as unlawful in his statement.
“The constitution clearly defines how the Judicial Service Commission shall be held responsible; which is by summoning the commission to parliament and taking necessary actions through parliament.”
Solih also warned state powers to respect the constitution and to refrain from activities that could disrupt the running of the state. He also reiterated his commitment to judicial reform.
“[The] strengthening of the Maldivian judiciary is one of the essential pledges of this government… President Solih reassures the people that he will do everything [in] his power to reform the judiciary,” the statement said, adding: “The president will discharge his duties without hesitation to protect the principles and standards set in the constitution.”