Mu'thasim, Suood's names sent for parliament deliberation

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has sent the names of former Supreme Court Justice Mu'thasim Adnan for the post of Chief Justice and former Attorney General Husnu-al-Suood for Supreme Court judgeship for parliament deliberation.

The president last week sent the names of two individuals to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) seeking their counsel on appointing them for the posts. The president has the authority to send nominations for the posts.

JSC's decision to recommend the president's nominations was announced following their sitting held Sunday. The commission had earlier interviewed and shortlisted the candidates who applied for the posts as well as the president's nominations. A report was then prepared by JSC that recommended to appoint Mu'thasim as the Chief Justice and Suood for Supreme Court judgeship. Both were 'highly recommended' by the JSC. The President forwarded their names to the parliament as per JSC recommendation later the same day.

Suood is currently the Chairman of the Presidential Commission Investigating Murders and Enforced Disappearances. He recently ran for the President of the Bar Council, however, he was unsuccessful in his bid.

In addition to Suood, the name of High Court Judge Abdul Rauf Ibrahim was also nominated by President Solih for Supreme Court judgeship. However, a complaint has been filed regarding the judge at the JSC, which accused him of pronouncing a verdict in favour of the previous administration in exchange for an apartment from 'Gaakoshi Flats' in capital Male'.

While JSC will be deciding on Rauf's name after investigating the complaint, Rauf, who sat on JSC as a High Court representative resigned from the commission earlier on Sunday.

President Solih nominated Mu'thasim for the post of Chief Justice by the power vested in him as President of Maldives. The post recently became vacant when former Chief Justice Dr. Ahmed Abdulla Didi was dismissed by the parliament.

Mu'thasim was among the first justices appointed to the Supreme Court. However, the 18th Parliament amended the Judges Act to decrease the number of justices in the Supreme Court from seven to five. Mu'thasim, and then Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz lost their positions due to the amendment.

If Mu'thasim is appointed as the Chief Justice, he will become the only justice remaining at the court from among the first judges appointed to the court.

The remaining justices all eventually lost their positions, with Judge Abdulla Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed being charged with criminal offences after a controversial court order was issued by the Supreme Court on February 1, 2018 ordering the release of the then opposition political detainees.

Former Chief Justice Dr. Ahmed Abdulla Didi who became Chief Justice after Faiz was dismissed, and Judge Adam Mohamed were both recently dismissed over unlawful rulings passed by the Supreme Court, and Judge Abdulla Areef resigned amid an investigation into the same matter.