The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is investigating a disciplinary case against Supreme Court Justice Mahaz Ali Zahir.
The JSC said it was investigating a case against Justice Mahaz for accepting a lunch sent to the Supreme Court by a person linked to a Supreme Court case.
AVAS has learned that the lunch was sent to the court by a supporter of the main opposition, the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), on the day the Supreme Court acquitted President Abdullah Yameen of money laundering over a year ago. However, it is believed that the judges ordered and paid for the lunch, as is the usual practice at the court. It is known that the Supreme Court judges buy lunch for one another in this manner.
An inquiry committee has now been formed to investigate the matter.
In a statement issued by the JSC late Thursday, the commission said that the Supreme Court and Justice Mahaz were not cooperating in the investigation. The commission said it had repeatedly sent letters to the Supreme Court seeking clarification on the complaint filed with the commission.
"In a deliberate move, no response was sent to our inquiries requesting details of how the lunch was organized, and expenditure and other such details. Whether the judge did not disclose the information because he did not have the supporting documents will become clearer after the commission's investigation," the statement said.
Due to a lack of cooperation from the Supreme Court and Justice Mahaz, the JSC has summoned some employees of Justice Mahaz's section to the commission to clarify the matter. The statement said that the information revealed some facts that support the allegations made in the complaint against the justice.
"The commission has decided to investigate the matter as it is beneficial in all ways to find out the truth about such allegations," the statement said.
The JSC said that during the information clarification stage, Justice Mahaz had the opportunity to disclose information related to the complaint. However, the relevant information was not disclosed to the commission, and the judge chose to share the documents through the media.
"The Supreme Court judges are the role models for the entire judiciary. They are supposed to uphold the highest ethical standards and the standard of conduct of judges. The commission will deal with complaints on the same basis without discrimination regardless of the rank and category of judges," the JSC's statement read.