Parliament has voted in favor of impeaching Chief Justice Dr. Ahmed Abdulla Didi and Supreme Court Justice Adam Mohamed Abdulla.
The impeachment motion passed with the vote of the majority of the parliaments present during the voting this Monday afternoon.
69 voted in favor of the impeachment, while nine voted against, and one abstained.
Judicial Service Commission (JSC) placed the Chief Justice and Justice Adam under 60-day suspension and made the decision to lodge impeachment motions against them at the Parliament on November 13.
The motions were lodged with the Parliament the next day, and sent to the Judiciary Committee for review.
The Judiciary Committee found that JSC had followed due process in recommending the impeachment of the two justices, and backed the recommendation.
Speaking during the parliamentary debate on the committee’s decision, West Henveryru MP Hassan Latheef, who himself is a member of the Judiciary Committee, said that the committee made the decision to back JSC’s recommendation because it found both the Chief Justice and Justice Adam lacked the conduct expected of judges.
The JSC, following its inquiry, found 15 instances where the two justices were found to have violated the code of conduct expected of sitting judges. They are:
- The move by Supreme Court to restrict the powers of the Parliament and JSC, and obstruct the execution of the duties of the Parliament and JSC.
- The move by Supreme Court to interfere in, and amend the system established under the law to run and manage the administration of the judiciary, and declare itself the supreme authority regarding management of the administrative affairs of the judiciary.
- The move by Supreme Court to dissolve the Judicial Council which was establish under law, usurper the powers of the Judicial Council, and later establish a new Judicial Council.
- The move by Supreme Court to take over the regulation of the legal profession and licensing of lawyers from the Attorney General’s Office through a ruling in November 15.
- The move by Supreme Court to amend the time frame for appeal established under laws.
- The move by Supreme Court to establish a regulation for transfer of lower court magistrates and judges, and usurper the legal authority of JSC.
- The move by Supreme Court to accept the appeal filed by the state, seven months after the window of appeal closed, over the High Court’s decision to uphold the Criminal Court’s acquittal of former Deputy Speaker and Dhiggaru MP Ahmed Nazim, and overturning the verdict of the two courts and issuing a guilty verdict.
- The move by Supreme Court declaring Civil Court Judge Mariyam Waheed incompetent to serve as a judge at any court of law in Maldives.
- The move by Supreme Court to declare then-President of Elections Commission, Fuwad Thaufeeq and Vice President of Elections Commission Ahmed Fayaz guilty of a criminal offense, and dismiss them.
- The move by Supreme Court to issue an 11-point guideline restricting the powers of the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) after initiating criminal charges against its members in suo moto proceedings.
- The move by Supreme Court to overrule the Parliament’s impeachment of then-President of Civil Service Commission, Mohamed Fahmy for sexual harassment.
- The move by Supreme Court to obstruct JSC from evaluating performance of judges.
- The move by Supreme Court to issue an anti-defection ruling in July 2017 which stripped 12 sitting parliamentarians of their seats, and prevented them from executing their legal and electoral duties.
- The move by Supreme Court to change portions of a ruling it issued on February 1, 2018.
- The move by Supreme Court to establish ‘laws’ making it mandatory for other courts to follow instructions it issues in circulars and letters regarding the administration of the courts, and comportment of behavior of magistrates and judges of the courts.
JSC found that both the Chief Justice and Justice Adam showed blatant disregard for the code of conduct expected of judges during its inquiry into multiple allegations misconduct filed against them with their refusal to cooperate with JSC, and refusal to accept JSC’s decisions.
They have accused JSC of acting outside its legitimate powers.
The Chief Justice had been issued a warning following the JSC inquiry into the initial misconduct allegation against him. He, however, rejected the warning and returned the copy of JSC’s investigative report unopened.
He refused to accept the summons sent to him for a subsequent inquiry.
Justice Adam, too, later excused himself from attending JSC’s inquiry into him, and declared the summons invalid.