Government have full support for Civil Procedure Bill: AG responds to JC’s statement

Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath giving an interview at Attorney General's Office | Photo: PSM

Male’, Maldives —The Attorney General’s Office has responded to the statement of the Parliament Judiciary Committee by saying that the Government has shown full support in the work of the Civil Procedure Bill.

The statement from AG comes after the Committee Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Imthiyaz Fahumee stated that the delay in the Civil Procedure Bill is because the Attorney General’s Office went the wrong bill to the Committee after the Legal Councilor of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Ahmed Abdulla Afeef stated that delay in Parliament’s work is appearing as an obstacle in delivering justice.

The AG’s Office released a statement regarding the matter and stated that the AG’s Office the draft of the Civil Procedure Bill that was created with the help of a foreign consultant on November, 2019. As the Office had planned to present the bill before the third quarter of the Parliament ends, AG stated that a Dhivehi draft of the bill was sent in parts since there were only two weeks left for the quarter to end.

AG’s Office claimed that they worked together with the parliament’s committee to complete the bill last year. According to the statement released by the AG’s Office, the chapters of the bill were researched separately at that time with the committee until the parliament’s committee expressed concern that it is not right to proceed the work in that manner.

Followed by the concerns from the Committee, AG’s Office stated that they had then revised completely the bill and shared it with the parliament committee during the last months of 2020. Along with this, AG’s Office stated that they had also attached a summary of the bill and sent it to the Parliament on March, 2021.

The government has provided full support and assistance on the things that were involved in the (Judiciary) Committee’s work so far. And the government will continue to provide support for the (Judiciary) Committee and other Committees of the parliament as well.

AG’s Office

On May 3rd, the President’s Office’s the Legal Councilor, Ahmed Abdulla Afeef went into detail on the administration’s efforts in delivering justice.

Ahmed stated that President Solih took over the Office with an important pledge to deliver justice for those who were unjustified in the previous administration. However, Ahmed noted that the President’s pledge is not only about the changes brought to the courts or delivering justice to those who were imprisoned wrongfully.

One of the most important thing in this is to give back on the losses that people had to face when their agreements were canceled illegally.

Ahmed Abdulla Afeef, Legal Councilor President’s Office

While saying that the most justifiable way to give back on the losses that people have faced is through the law, Ahmed noted that the Civil Procedure Bill that the government sent to the Parliament on February of last year is still not completed and that this is an obstacle in delivering justice to those who were wronged.

The Judiciary Committee held a press conference to express their concerns over the blame that was put on them by the Legal Councilor and stated that after the Committee began researching the Civil Procedure Bill, Imthiyaz said that they had received a request from the Attorney General’s Office stating that the bill sent to the Parliament was a wrong bill.

Imthiyaz stated that the committee had halted their work and that they awaited for the correct bill from AG’s Office, only to receive the first two chapters of the amended Civil Procedure Bill after months from the  AG’s Office.

Imthiyaz stated that the AG’s Office informed the Juidiciary Committee on October 13, 2020 that they would complete the entire bill and sent it to the Committee by October 18 of the same year. However, the Committee had not received the proper completed bill on the given date as well and that it was a huge concern for the Judiciary Committee.

Imthiyaz revealed that the AG’s Office had given multiple dates to present the bill and at last it was given on November 4, 2020. While noting that almost a year went by without the committee receiving the correct version of the bill and that it was finally given to Committee, they were busy carrying out the annual budget work.

The Civil Procedure Bill is presented by the Attorney General’s Office as a method to fill the gaps in the civil law system of the Maldives, to allow the cases presented to the three tier court systems to be looked into more justifiably and with equality as the civil system does not consist of the regulations that need to be followed when a civil issue rises.