By Shahubaan Fahumee
This Dhivehi language video was aired by local TV station Raajje TV.
The constitution is the instructional guide on the system of governance of a nation. It is the declaration on the limits and extent of a nation’s powers: executive power, judicial power and legislative power. All or whatever done unconstitutionally is void. It is not something anyone will tolerate and is clearly stated in the constitution. The purpose of the constitution is to give its citizens hope and to assure its citizens of the rule of law. All actions must be exercised in accordance with the constitution and the law, irrespective of how powerful an authority it may be. Even if it is the President, the People’s Majlis, the Judiciary, the independent organisations or the citizens. The constitution which the citizen received nine years ago in August 2008, these are clearly written and stated. The question is whether what is written is implemented. One of the articles stated in the constitution says to take action only as prescribed in the constitution.
It is stated in the constitution that Auditor General shall be removed from office only on the ground of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence; and a finding to that effect by a committee of the People’s Majlis, and upon the approval of such finding by the People’s Majlis by a majority of those present and voting. It is nowhere mentioned in the constitution to change the law to facilitate the removal of the Auditor General. The sacked Auditor General appealed to the Supreme Court and many months has passed by with no news. It is not known whether the Supreme Court accepted the case or not. No hearing has taken place.
In the same manner, it is clearly stated in the constitution on how to remove a judge. A judge may be removed from office only after the judge is summoned and, if the Judicial Service Commission finds that the person is grossly incompetent, or that the judge is guilty of gross misconduct, and submits to the People’s Majlis a resolution supporting the removal of the judge, which is passed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the People’s Majlis present and voting.
So, was the Chief Justice of the Maldives and a Supreme Court Judge removed in this manner? Was Civil Court’s Judge Mariyam Waheed removed in accordance to what is stipulated in the constitution?
When it came to the removal of judges, instead of taking it first to the Judicial Service Commission the law was altered and then sent to Judicial Service Commission to make a decision. When it was decided as the judges were incompetent, they refused to even listen to a word by the judges (in their defence). While they were deemed incompetent and removed as judges still salary, private car and free healthcare from overseas and many other benefits are provided. Isn’t this baffling or what? Even though they are deemed incompetent they still are receiving all the rights of a competent judge.
All judicial proceedings to be conducted with justice and impartiality is an important right stated in the constitution. It guarantees all the fundamental rights. The right to a lawyer for the accused, to be informed without delay of the specific offence, to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence, to examine the witnesses against him, to be tried within a reasonable time frame and the right to appeal are all rights to ensure justice.
Doubts were raised on citizens rights and on the implementation of justice, whether it was in accordance with the constitution on the handling of the Former President Mohamed Nasheed case and Former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim’s case; how they were given access to legal counsel, the time given, and the access to witnesses.
Appealing of a case, especially if it is a criminal case and if the right to appeal was not used by the prosecutor general (the nation), if that criminal case is appealed again to clear one from the offence and punishment, it will violate the right stipulated in the constitution – the case cannot be reopened once the final verdict has been reached. A Supreme Court ruling also highlights that once the time frame to appeal is over another chance of appeal should not be allowed. As things stand this way, Criminal cases which the criminal court and high court has delivered an acquittal on and after the time frame to appeal such cases has expired, Prosecutor General’s Office has appealed to the Supreme Court and the apex court has accepted and are proceeding with these cases. The Constitution and its aim, and the assurance the citizen gets from it is that everything will be carried out as written. However this assurance is now shaken.
The above mentioned are few issues which is enough to prove as evidence. So when what is guaranteed in the constitution is not realized, the constitution becomes merely words written on a piece of paper. It becomes useless.
When some amongst us goes astray from the orbit of human discipline and divine orders, and rob from the citizen’s (treasure) chest, why can’t the law be exercised? No it should be exercised. When the citizen’s treasury is gorged, that person should not be able to escape from the sharpness of the executioner’s sword. Don’t know why these people who are “showering” in abuse are left free to be in the public. Since we all know who these are, there is no need to mention names. These people’s faces will appear in your mind, whenever you close your eyes. These corrupt people are left free in our community because we lag behind, the chances of going through the loopholes in the laws are easy, and because such corrupt people get the chance to participate in the making and implementing of such laws, and when policy mixes with corruption.
When the person who has his hand in the citizen’s (treasure) chest, the person who investigates and the person who gives a verdict all partake in that crime, then it is the salad bowl of corruption. No justice will come out from such a salad of corruption.
Let’s think for a bit, a political person and a civil servant receives annually on an average maximum of three to four hundred thousand Rufiyaa as a salary. However, after a two or three years they are able to build many buildings of ten to twenty million value, becomes a shareholder of some business and increase the capital of that business to thirty to forty million. Yet there is no one who asks where that money came from. Have mercy. This wealth has to be returned to its rightful citizens, back to the national treasury. This must happen.
Thieves need to be caught, tried in court and punished, without looking at their face or neck. This will happen when it’s shaped into a natural judicial system. This system is constructive destruction.
Source URL: RaajjeTelevision