Judge hears record 153 cases in one day

Civil Court Judge Mohamed Haleem scheduled a record 160 cases Thursday, heard 153 cases and delivered judgments in 66 cases.

Haleem mainly adjudicates housing and real estate disputes. Starting at 8 am, an hour before the earliest hearings are normally scheduled, he heard the cases throughout the day with an average of about six minutes per case until close to midnight.

The record-breaking docket has drawn criticism from the legal community.

Husnu Suood, a former attorney general and prominent lawyer, said Haleem was “having fun” with his responsibilities.

“That is not how justice is served. This is just fooling around. Like playing a children’s game,” he told the Maldives Independent.

Former Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz also condemned Haleem’s actions and questioned his motives.

“Justice is a holy task from God that is related to the rights of the people and it must be established on earth. Doing it to break a record is unacceptable,” Faiz wrote on Facebook.

Haleem was appointed to the bench in February 2015. He was previously active in political parties and had contested as an independent candidate for the Noonu atoll Velidhoo constituency in the 2014 parliamentary elections.

The judge has also handed down several controversial decisions, including a work ban on the former staff of defunct newspaper Haveeru and a ruling that effectively stripped former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom of his powers as the elected leader of the ruling party.

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