Top court declares all actions that defy stay order as invalid

Maldives top court on Monday issued an order stating that all decisions and actions that are in defiance of the Supreme Court's stay order on Judge Abdulla Didi's suspension are invalid.

The order stated that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC)'s decision to disregard the Supreme Court's stay order on Didi's suspension is unconstitutional.

"Five out of seven commission members voted that the [the Supreme Court's] order obstructs the commission's constitutional and legal obligations. This decision to challenge the Supreme Court ruling transgresses beyond the constitutional privileges and the JSC's jurisdiction", read the order.

The order further declared that any action taken by any authority based on the commission's decision is thereby invalid.

The order further noted that the JSC does not have the constitutional right to question and make decisions on the legitimacy of court rulings, and reminded that members of the JSC should refrain from being involved in cases that are directly related to them or where there is a conflict of interest.

Last week, Supreme Court Justice Abdulla Didi was suspended by th JSC over a complaint filed against the judge by former president Mohamed Nasheed, a member of the JSC. In his complaint Nasheed alleged that the judge had accepted a bribe of US$ 1 million to jail him back in 2015, while the judge was at the Criminal Court.

Judge Didi denied the allegations and filed a constitutional dispute at the Supreme Court, requesting to dismiss the JSC's decision. A stay order was then issued by the top court, ordering all authorties not take any action against Judge Didi. The JSC then called an emergency meeting, where it was decided that Judge Didi's suspension will be maintained by the commission despite the Supreme Court's stay order.

The parliament's judiciary committee has since backed JSC's suspension on Didi, and will be recommending the parliament to advise to the Supreme Court not to infringe on JSC's jurisdiction.