Malé, Maldives – Kendhoo MP Ali Hussain has accused Judicial Service Commission (JSC) of being the biggest influence on judges.
Ali’s comments come as the JSC is investigating a disciplinary case against Supreme Court Justice Mahaz Ali Zahir.
While JSC has been criticized in the case, MP Ali said the Judicial Service Commission controls and influences the judges.
The JSC is investigating a complaint filed against Mahaz for allegedly taking over and entertaining a banquet sent by a supporter of of former President Yameen in the case to celebrate the Supreme Court’s verdict in a case heard by the bench.
The Supreme Court quashed the five-year jail sentence handed down to Yameen by a unanimous vote of three Supreme Court judges. They are Justice Mahaz, Justice Dr Azmiralda Zahir and Justice Dr Mohammed Ibrahim.
Justice Mahaz has previously told that he held the luncheon at his own expense on the day of sentencing in the case of former President Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
JSC said it had repeatedly sent letters to the Supreme Court seeking clarification on this complaint but it repeatedly objected to clarifying the details of the luncheon, except to say that there was a luncheon on the day.
JSC also accused Justice Mahaz of deliberately not responding to requests for details of the organization and expenditure of the luncheon.
Justice Mahaz had then revealed that because of the lengthy hearings in Yameen’s case, every day of the case, a judge of the trial bench brings lunch at their own expense, including the other two judges.
Mahaz said he ordered food from a place and brought the lunch at his own expense on November 30 last year, the day Yameen was sentenced. He also added that he had invited all the judges to the luncheon as it was the last day all the judges would meet before recess of the Supreme Court.
“All the judges will know where the food came from. All the judges ate it. They said it was delicious.” Justice Mahaz explained.
He also said if there is a trial tomorrow, including meal arrangements, all arrangements are made in advance the night before and it is not done in secret.
“The food was brought at my own expense. There is a payment slip. It was not free or discounted. And nothing special was brought.” Mahaz said.
“When I ordered myself, the place where I ordered would call me, so I gave an administrative staff, the number of the person who would deliver the food. This is how it happened.”