JUST IN: High Court rules police entry into ex-President Yameen’s residence to remove “India Out” banner unlawful

"India Out" banner hung on construction site above ex-President Yameen's home | Photo: Abdulla Yashau/Dhauru

Malé, Maldives – The Maldives High Court ruled on Sunday that the police entry into former President Yameen Abdul Gayyoom’s private residence to remove the “India Out” banner was unlawful.

High Court noted that the police could have removed the banner without entering the former President’s home and ruled that the Criminal Court warrant granting permission to enter and search Yameen’s residence was unlawful.

The criminal Court warrant cited disrupting the peace regarding the police filing of posing a threat to society without a valid reason.

Search warrants should not be treated as a mere formality … granted without any questioning or explanation of cause.

High Court

High Court stated that the cause was not explained in the search warrant. High Court Judge Mohamed Niyaz further noted that there is no evidence that the banner is evidence of a crime. The judge also stated that while it may be more convenient to remove the banner by entering the home, the law does not allow that.

The three-judge bench of the High Court today ruled that the Criminal Court search warrant for former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s home must be revoked since the cause was not justified.