High Court issues stay order on officer termination

The High Court has issued a stay order on the dismissal of three high-ranking police officers.

Termination notices were sent to Chief Superintendent Abdulla Shareef, Superintendent Ismail Shameem and Superintendent Mohamed Dawud, informing that they will be terminated from the police service effective from 0000hrs on Wednesday.

While the Police Board has recommended the termination of the officers along with other high ranking officers, the termination has been challenged at the Civil Court. A request was made at the Civil Court seeking a stay order on their termination pending outcome of trial. However, the request was denied by the Civil Court. The decision was then appealed at the High Court, and hearings began on Tuesday for the appeal case.

During Tuesday's hearing, four appeal points were presented by the officer's lawyer, former Deputy Prosecutor General Maryam Nihaayath. It was noted by Nihaayath that the Civil Court had not given a reason for rejecting the request for a stay order. She further said the police board recommended the officers' dismissal without carrying out any investigation. The officers were not given the opportunity to respond, she added.

While the case was already ongoing in Civil Court, the police dismissed Assistant Commissioner Ahmed Mohamed and Assistant Commissioner Mohamed Jamsheed who are also part of the lawsuit, said Nihaayath. She requested the High Court for a stay order on the enforcement of their dismissal until the case is concluded in the Civil Court.

However, the State said the officers were being dismissed due to huge allegations against them. If a temporary order is issued by the High Court allowing them to remain in their posts until the case is concluded, it would become a permanent protection given to the officers, said the State. The State also argued that the two officers who have already been dismissed were terminated before the Civil Court rejected the request for a stay order, and thereby not relevant to the new request for a stay order.

The presiding judge said the court would need a couple of days to reach a decision on the matter. Therefore, the court issued an order to Maldives Police Service to allow the officers who have not yet been terminated to remain in their positions until the court reaches a judgement.

The police board is seeking the terminations of Assistant Commissioner of Police Ahmed Mohamed, Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Jamsheed, Assistant Commissioner Faruhad Fikuree, Chief Superintendent Ahmed Shuhad, Chief Superintendent Abdulla Shareef, Superintendent Ismail Shameem and Superintendent Mohamed Dawud. Shuhad and Farhad are not part of the lawsuit.