Society & Culture
Policeman fired for theft wins high court bid to get job back
The High Court ruled that the dismissal of former Chief Station Inspector Mohamed Habeeb in February 2014 was unfair as he was not convicted of a crime in a court of law. The Maldives Police Service was ordered to reinstate the ex-policeman and provide compensation for lost wages.
The High Court has upheld a civil court ruling on the reinstatement of a police officer dismissed for theft, ordering the state to provide compensation to the claimant within 15 days.
Mohamed Habeeb was sacked from his post as chief station inspector at the Maldives Police Service in February 2014 after an internal inquiry found him guilty of stealing a mercury light from the police infrastructure development department.
The Attorney General’s office had appealed a civil court judgment in Habeeb’s favour at the High Court, which ruled on Monday that his dismissal was unfair as he was not convicted of a criminal offence at court.
The appellate court also noted that while Habeeb allegedly committed the the theft in April 2008, the police regulation under which he was sacked was enacted in January 2009.
“In consideration of the legal and judicial standards, it can be ascertained that measures cannot be taken with regards to an incident under laws and regulations enacted after it took place,” the High Court said.
The High Court ordered the MPS to reinstate Habeeb and compensate him for lost wages as well as for pay raises he would have earned through promotions.
The civil court judgment in Habeeb’s favour had relied on a precedent set by the Supreme Court in overturning the parliament’s sacking of disgraced former Civil Service Commission Mohamed Fahmy Hassan, in which the apex court said Fahmy could not be removed unless he was found guilty of sexual harassment by a court of law.
The High Court, however, said the ruling’s basis was wrong as Fahmy’s cases related to the interpretation of the constitutional.