Defying court order would constitute “a felonious act”

The Supreme Court of the Maldives PHOTO/MIHAARU

The Supreme Court of the Maldives PHOTO/MIHAARU

The unprecedented Supreme Court ruling issued late Thursday night called the government, parliament and the security forces to fully comply with the court’s decision, and stated that undermining its decision would constitute “a felonious act.”

The apex court’s landmark ruling also ordered the release of all political prisoners, including former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Vice President Ahmed Adheeb, along with seven other high-profile politicians. It also reinstated 12 lawmakers who were ousted after the court’s ruling on floor crossing, which was also nullified on Thursday night’s order.

“…the Government, the People’s Majlis, the Security Forces and the people are obliged to comply with the decisions of the Supreme Court on legal and judicial matters, and whereas any attempt to interfere or influence the functions of a Judge of the Supreme Court would constitute a felonious act to undermine the Constitution and the laws,” the ruling said.

The top court’s order went on to say that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) does not have the jurisdiction to investigate any complaints related to the judges of the Supreme Court.

“It is clear from Article 159 (a) of the Constitution which stipulates the powers and responsibilities of the commission, that the commission has jurisdiction over the judges of the courts with the exception of the Chief Justice and the Judges of the Supreme Court…”

While the ruling clearly states that undermining the court’s order would be a felony, Attorney General Mohamed Anil at a press conference held early Friday morning, had raised questions about the legality of the verdict and said that the government is analyzing it further.

The court’s ruling also highlighted how “the three powers of the State has been suspended and unable to exercise its functions for a long time” and even instructed to conduct the first sitting of the first session of parliament for this year. With the court’s declaration that no member had legally lost their parliament membership, the opposition will regain the majority in the parliament.

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