No jurisdiction over Presidential pay dispute: Supreme Court

Judges of the Supreme Court of Maldives who presided over the case | Photo: Open source

Male’, Maldives – The Supreme Court of Maldives ruled on Wednesday, that it has no jurisdiction to look into the case filed regarding the legality of changes brought to the pay of the President and Vice Presidents of the Maldives, among other high officials of the government.

The constitutional case was filed to the court by former Judge of Civil Court, Mohamed Haleem, some time during June, on grounds that the changes cannot be brought to the salaries of the President and Vice President, without having have changed the constitution.

The five judges bench which oversaw the case stated in their verdict that the Supreme Court had original jurisdiction of the court in three constitutional issues, which are;

  • An issue with legal reasons which may send the country into a constitutional void or remove it from the constitutional framework; or
  • A dispute between two powers or institutions of the State regarding the interpretation of the Constitution; or
  • A constitutional issue concerning the general public interest of the nation

Haleem had filed the case on the basis that the issue concerned the general public interest of the nation, however, the court stated that Haleem could not justify his basis. The verdict of the Supreme Court further stated that the matter concerns individuals and which could affect them on an individual level.

The Act related to the salaries of the President and Vice President, including the allowances and amenities, states that the salary of the President is MVR 100,000 while the Vice President’s salary is MVR 75,000. However, the wages were decided to be decreased to the the financial situation of the country, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandmic.