Addu City, Maldives – Seven cases have been filed for appeal at the High Court of Maldives after Hithadhoo Magistrate Court ruled in favour of the Addu City Council.
In early August 2021, Hithadhoo Court Magistrate Rafeeuddin Ahmed ruled that the statement by the Addu City Council regarding the reallocation of land is valid and that there is no issue in claiming the land in agreement with compensation if both parties are in agreement.
However, if there is contention between the two parties and in case of a hostile land takeover by the state, only the courts will decide on the matter, according to the court sentence by the Hithadhoo Magistrate Court.
14 landowners filed cases against the Addu City Council regarding the same statement. While Magistrate Rafeeuddin Ahmed ruled in favour of the council, visiting Chief Magistrate of Rathafandhoo Court who oversaw the other 7 cases ruled that the statement released by the Addu City Council is invalid since there is no justification provided that the land repossession by the city council is for social good.
Both Magistrate’s judgements concur that under the Decentralization Law, city councils are authorized to exercise eminent domain takeovers with compensation provided through the judicial system.
The cases in sentenced in favour of the Addu City Council have now been submitted for appeal at the High Court of Maldives.
As per the council, the main purpose of claiming land surrounding AEH is to give the opportunity for economical development in the area.
The council advised the public not to carry out any activities on the land claimed by the council, adding that they will not be responsible for any consequences.
While speaking with local media publication Mihaaru, Addu City Mayor Ali Nizar previously said that land was distributed from the area without a proper plan and that it was very congested. He added that as people from several islands will be frequently visiting the hospital, it was not wise to have a congested living area near the hospital.