Supreme Court rules to allow BIG case appeal at High Court

Supreme Court of the Maldives | Photo: PSM

Male’, Maldives — Supreme Court of Maldives has ruled that the decision of the High Court to reject the appeal of the case which requires state media on paying Business Image Group (BIG) MVR 78 million must be changed.

In 2016, the civil court had ordered the now defunct Maldives National Broadcasting Coorperation (MNBC) to pay BIG a total amount of MVR 78 million. The ruling stated that under the agreement MNBC and BIG made on 2010, MNBC needs to pay BIG MVR 5 million as agreed and an additional amount of MVR 72 million as fines for late payments.

The amount payable had increased by a great extend as MNBC failed to pay the money before the deadline. With this, the required amount of money has increased over the past years to over MVR 72 million with MNBC having to pay a total of MVR 78 million including the fines.

Public Service Media (PSM) had settled MVR 30 million of the MVR 78 million owed to Business Image Group (BIG) by Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC) in early 2019.

When this issue was presented to the Civil Court, MNBC was abolished by the government and Public Service Media (PSM) was introduced instead.

The appeal was later sent to the High Court by Public Service Media after days from the deadline for appeal on the year 2019. As the Public Service Media did not present a valid reason for the delay, the High Court decided to not allow the appeal case.

Public Service Media had later appealed the Highs Court’s decision to the Supreme Court to which the judges of the Supreme Court had ruled that the Civil Court has not checked about which company will be obligated to take responsibility of the agreement MNBC had made with BIG company and without sending an order to the Public Service Media to be present at the court.

Supreme Courts ruling stated that when the issue was presented, MNBC was no longer a legal entity the Public Service Media must get a chance to justify themselves. Supreme Court also stated that High Court must check for such technicalities and that the decision of the High Court to reject the appeal was a wrong decision. Supreme Court also stated that PSM will to be given 10 days to appeal the Civil Courts ruling at High Court.