Suspension of HC order: Two more magistrates under investigation

Hithadhoo Magistrate Court. (Photo/Addu Live)

Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has opened misconduct investigations against two more magistrates from the Hithadhoo Magistrate Court in Addu City in connection to a press statement issued regarding the decision to suspend a High Court order to keep a suspect jailed pending the outcome of his drug trial, and order his release.

Hithadhoo Court's Chief Magistrate Rafeeuddin Ahmed had ordered the release of Rushan Ahmed Didi, Mandhoobuge, S. Hithadhoo, in February; challenging an order by the High Court to have been jailed pending the outcome of his drug trial.

The decision sparked questions over judicial hierarchy, and prompted concern from Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem, who tweeted that that a magistrate or a lower court did not have the authority to suspend an order issued by the High Court.

“If you want to release someone. You need to show a valid reason. Such decisions will be appealed with the High Court, and filed with JSC,” he said.

The Hithadhoo Magistrate Court issued a press statement in response to the tweet, stating that the tweet was inappropriate for a person holding the office of the Prosecutor General, and that it had led to misleading media reports.

Rafeeuddin’s decision and subsequent statement prompted JSC to open an investigation against him for misconduct.

Nine months after the incident, JSC issued a statement Monday announcing the investigation into the case uncovered possible misconduct from two more magistrates; Chief Magistrate of S. Judicial District Mohamed Hashim, and Hithadhoo Court’s Magistrate Ziyada Thahir.

JSC said they had therefore decided to investigate the two magistrates.