MP Yauqoob’s seat not lost: Supreme Court

MP Yaugoob Abdullah of Dhaandhoo constituency | Photo: Majlis

Male’, Maldives – Maldives Supreme Court has ruled that Dhaandhoo constituency MP Yauqoob Abdulla’s parliament seat is not lost.

Questions over the legitimacy of Yaugoob’s parliamentary seat arose after his appointment to the council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Maldives (ICAM), created under the recently enacted Chartered Accountants Act. With legal experts questioning his appointment, Yagoob resigned the next day.

The case was filed against MP Yaugoob by former judge of the Criminal Court of Maldives, Mohamed Haleem and Assad Shareef, one of the lawyers in the legal team representing the opposition PPM/PNC coalition.

The case which is heard by a bench of five Supreme Court Justices was presided over by Justice Husnul Suood. The other Justices on the bench were Justice Aisha Shujune Ahmed, Justice Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim, Justice Mahaaz Ali Zahir and Justice Ali Rasheed Hussain.

Announcing the verdict, Justice Husnul Suood told that if they declared that MP Yauqoob’s seat was lost then it would mean that the Supreme Court was altering Constitutions Article 73 (d) and that it would be against the law to declare that the seat was lost. He also added that if the constitution did not specify a penalty for any action, then the Supreme Court could not declare a penalty for any action and that it was not in the jurisdiction of the court.

He also told that if the court does anything as such, then it would mean that the court was changing the constitution. Justice Suood further added that even though the Supreme Court is mandated to interpret the law when such disputes arises, it did not have the authority to change any laws or the constitution.

He also told that while there are professional bodies which have their own legal entity or the parliament had passed their legal mandates but these bodies were not part of the government authorities nor responsible for implementing the governments policies and that these bodies were responsible for the regulation of the people in their specialized profession.

Justice Husnul Suood told that the position MP Yauqoob took in the Chartered Accountants Institutes council cannot be declared as a governments job in any legal means and ruled that it was not a position that he could not hold. All other justices had also supported Justice Husnul Suood‘s verdict.