Parliament dismisses Chief Justice, Judge Adam

The Parliament has voted to dismiss Chief Justice Dr. Ahmed Abdulla Didi, and Supreme Court Justice Adam Mohamed.

This is the first time in the country's history that a Chief Justice has been dismissed through the Parliament. The decisions to remove the judges were made during Monday's parliament sitting, with 69 members voting to dismiss them two separate votes. Nine members voted against dismissing the judges.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) recommended the Parliament to dismiss the judges last Wednesday after suspending the judges for a period of 60 days following disciplinary proceedings against them.

JSC said while the alleged misconduct of the two judges are being investigated, the judges do not conduct themselves in the manner expected of judges. While actions that are in violation of the expected standard of judges have been proven against the judges, the commission is seeking the removal of the two justices through the Parliament, said JSC.

The law states that a judge can be dismissed only if the parliament votes against the individual in question.

JSC probed the two judges over several instances where the Supreme Court had transgressed their jurisdiction. While a report on the commission's findings were sent to the Chief Justice following investigation, the Chief Justice refused to receive the report and stated that he was not legally obligated to respond to the report.

The Chief Justice had also refused to present himself to JSC for inquiry, declaring the summon sent by JSC as invalid. However, Judge Adam had presented himself for questioning when summoned.

While open investigative hearings were to be held in Judge Adam's case, no hearings were conducted. After former Vice President Dr. Mohamed Jameel was appointed as Judge Adam's attorney, JSC refused to allow Jameel to represent the judge, as Judge Adam was on the bench that was overlooking some cases which involved Jameel.

Judge Adam was given the opporutnity to arrange a new lawyer, however, Judge Adam refused to accept JSC's decision and stated that the JSC had violated a right assured to the judge. He further claimed that the JSC's actions were unconstitutional, and refused to present himself to JSC for further inquiries.

The 19th Parliament has dismissed three judges thus far. In addition to Chief Justice Ahmed Abdulla Didi and Judge Adam Mohamed who were dismissed Monday, Judge Abdulla Didi was dismissed earlier this year.

While two former Chief Justices have been removed from their positions under the current constitution, the two judges were dismissed following amendments to the law.

Former Chief Justice Faiz Hussain lost his position when amendments were brought to decrease the size of the Supreme Court bench. Former Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed was dismissed earlier when changes were brought by the Parliament to the procedures that are followed in dismissing judges.