'Supreme Court does not exert influence on the JSC' - Judge Areef

President of Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Supreme Court Justice Abdulla Areef on Thursday denied claims that the Supreme Court exerts influence on JSC's work.

Members of the JSC were summoned to a parliament committee on Thursday night.

Answering the committee's inquiries, Justice Areef said he has not exerted any influence of the Supreme Court on the JSC since his appointment to the commission.

"Since my appointment to the JSC, I have not forced my hand through the Supreme Court on any of the commission's work. I can confidently state that I have not notified or asked anything of JSC members with the intent of exerting the court's influence on the commission", said Areef.

Areef further stated that JSC is proceeding independently, and the voting process within the commission also remains independent and uninfluenced.

While Areef has stated as such, the Supreme Court issued a stay order on JSC's decision to suspend Supreme Court Judge Abdulla Didi on Thursday over bribery allegations filed by former president Mohamed Nasheed. However, the JSC upheld their decision despite the stay order, stating that the Supreme Court order transgressed the constitutional privileges assured to the commission.

A second JSC member stated at the committee that it has been noticed that the Supreme Court influences the JSC. Main ruling MDP has been re-iterating that unless the influence exerted on the JSC comes to a stop, the judiciary cannot be reformed.