Newly appointed female judges hear first Supreme Court case

Newly appointed Supreme Court Justices Dr. Azmiralda Zahir and Aishath Sujun on Monday presided over a Supreme Court case for the first time.

Dr. Azmiralda, along with Judge Adam Mohamed Abdulla and Judge Abdulla Ghanee heard a case filed by a citizen against the state, while Judge Sujun heard a child-custody case with Judge Abdulla Areef and Judge Abdul Ghanee Mohamed.

The President nominated Azmiralda and Sujun for Supreme Court appointment after the parliament recently passed an amendment to increase the Supreme Court bench from five to seven judges.

While four High Court judges also applied for the vacant positions, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) recommended the President to appoint his nominations after interviewing the applicants. The President then forwarded his recommendations to the parliament for approval.

However, there was some controversy regarding appointing female judges from a religious perspective, due to which disagreements regarding the issue were prompted. Some religious scholars issued fatwas stating that it is impermissible to appoint female judges, and called on the president to withdraw his recommendation.

The parliament made the historical decision to appoint two women to the Maldives top court for the first time, with 62 out of 64 members present voting in favor of the move.