Rights Committee reviews acquittal of man accused of molesting stepdaughter

Chairperson of Human Rights and Gender Committee, Hinnavaru MP Jeehan Mahmood (C) pictured during a committee meeting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Human Rights and Gender Committee of the Parliament has opened a review into the decision by the High Court to acquit a man from L. Atoll who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for molesting his stepdaughter.

The man in questioned was sentenced by L. Atoll Magistrate Court in 2017. He was acquitted upon appeal by the High Court last Wednesday, June 12.

The decision to acquit the man created public uproar, and the issue was submitted to the Human Rights and Gender Committee for a review.

The committee, during its meeting this Tuesday, passed the decision to review the case with the unanimous consensus of all its members in attendance.

It has also established a three-member sub-committee to carry out the review.


  • Vaikaradhoo MP Hussain Ziyad
  • Addu Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam
  • South Fuvahmulah MP Mohamed Mumthaz

High Court, in the ruling it issued regarding the acquittal, said that the court was unable to open the audio and video files of the victim’s testimony submitted by the State during the original trial, and that her second statement, obtained during the appeal, had discrepancies from her original statement.

 It also said that victim’s statement to the police described the abuse she suffered as per the account she gave her mother. It said that the statement in question did not describe anything other than her stepfather “hugging” her.

The High Court declared that the victim’s claim was questionable. And that the testimony by the State’s witnesses based on the victim’s claim was therefore invalid.

The case was presided over by Chief Judge Shujau Usman, Judge Abdulla Hameed, and Judge Ali Sameer. The verdict was unanimous.