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Page added on March 12, 2011

Parliament has authority over Police and MNDF, declares Supreme Court

Parliament has authority over Police and MNDF, declares Supreme Court thumbnail

The Supreme Court of the Maldives has declared that both the Police and the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) should be answerable to parliament and its National Security Committee – known as the 241 Committee – whenever requested.

The Supreme Court said the decision was made after all judges unanimously agreed on the matter, which relates to overseeing the procedures of the nation’s security forces.

The declaration was delivered after parliament, under article 95 of the Constitution, requested the Supreme Court provide legal council on the issue back in November last year, when the police and military failed to attend the Majlis for questioning when called.

Article 95 states that ”The People’s Majlis may, by resolution, refer to the Supreme Court for hearing and consideration of important questions of law concerning any matter, including the interpretation of the constitution and the constitutional validity of any statute.

The Supreme Court shall answer the questions so referred and shall provide the answers to the People’s Majlis, giving reasons for its answers.

Parliament last year attempted to summon the Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Faseeh and MNDF Major General Moosa Ali Jaleel for questioning, who then both dismissed the parliament’s requests and refused to attend the meeting.

The Supreme Court said Article 239 (b) states that ‘’the security services shall be subject to the authority of the People’s Majlis.’’

The Supreme Court also said that, according to article 99 (a) and (b), it was clear that the parliament is obliged to supervise every action of the security services and to ensure that their actions are within the constitution and laws.

It is a legal responsibility of the parliament to question cabinet ministers over their work and cabinet ministers are obliged to answer truthfully to the parliament according to the constitution, the Supreme Court said.

The Parliament’s 241 Committee is chaired by opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ali Waheed.

When the 241 committee tried to summon both the police commissioner and the MNDF’s major general last year, the committee’s scheduled meeting was cancelled after alleged clashes with some Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MPs.

MDP MPs then accused the 241 committee of attempting to influence bribery investigations into Jumhoory Party leader MP Gasim ‘Buruma’ Ibrahim and Peoples Alliance (PA) Party leader MP Abdulla Yamin, who were then kept under house arrest.

Yamin and Gasim are both also members of the 241 Committee.

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15 Comments on "Parliament has authority over Police and MNDF, declares Supreme Court"

  1. Rinzy on Sat, 12th Mar 2011 4:07 PM 

    This was clearly stated in the constitution in language that even a small child who reads it will understand. Police and MNDF heads refuse to obey the Peoples Majlis because they did not respect the constitution. No question about it.

  2. Ahmed Farooq on Sat, 12th Mar 2011 5:09 PM 

    It’s not the People’s Majlis. It’s a bunch of crooks, liars and cheats. You can’t fool us. I ask these guys in the Majlis to go have fun with cucumbers.

  3. naju on Sat, 12th Mar 2011 5:11 PM 

    Why can’t the Supreme Court also talks about the Murder suspects, Major Drug Dealers get free so easily without any punishment?

    Some say no evidence because Evidence Bill is in the Majlis and it’s being there for many years….Also other Bills which the ICJ noticed the Maldives Judiciary does not have and that Judges work with empty hands…no wonder all the above CRIMINALS get free so easily!!!!!!

    Why not the Supreme Court not concerned about the relationship between the Murder suspects / Major Drug Dealing suspects and the Political Party seniors?????

    It’s funny that the Commissioner of Police & MNDF Major General is questioned by the Notorious crooks of the 30 year old DICTATORSHIP…Hah! shame on u Supreme Court guys!!!!! forget my dear!!!! don’t try to fool the people of the Republic of Maldives…go away!!!!! go to a country like Libya to reveal such senseless orders!!!

  4. Major General on Sat, 12th Mar 2011 5:45 PM 

    So is the chair of the 241 committee happy to be responsible for his actions in steering the police and MNDF in their operations? Is he ready along with his cohorts to take full responsibility for decision made in what we loosely call a parliament?

    This is ludicrous and the Supreme Court is more like Chicken Supreme or even Diana Ross and her sisters, they are an unmitigated joke and should step down immediately.

    This circus is just not funny anymore, this hardly represents a judiciary and a serious parliamentary body, it’s more like a badly run picnic with rotten food and a broken engine on the boat for the return trip.

  5. Mithra on Sat, 12th Mar 2011 6:56 PM 

    Responsibilities of policy executed at MNDF and Police services should be should fall on the executive and the head of the relevant Ministry.

    Parliament do have the right to call to question on a investigative basis.

    And since it was the parliament that gave the power to interpret constitutional statutes to judiciary there is no questioning that.

  6. shahid on Sat, 12th Mar 2011 10:44 PM 

    The authority of Public Office is derived from Public Trust.
    When the MPs forget they themselves are part of Government, and that they too have responsibilities to ensure Good Government, and engages with impunity in selective probing in a deliberate and calculated war against Government, the Parliament loses the moral authority to hold anyone accountable.
    Further, when the MPs in the National Security Committee are those same persons allegedly involved in serious organised crime that threatens human security and national security, they certainly are not fit to hold Commissioner of Police or Chief of Staff accountable.
    The integrity and authority of Parliament is tied to the integrity of sitting MPs and those who fail to meet the standards of conduct expected of a Public Official, be they elected MPs, they must resign in the name of common interest or be forced out.
    Neither does Supreme Court’s continued entertainment of politically motivated frivolous cases raise public confidence in the judiciary as an impartial arbiter.
    Text-books of Democracy do not need a re-writing by the Supreme Court of Maldives. The only effect of Supreme Court’s engagement in politics would be a further deterioration of Rule of Law and Public Order.

  7. Adam Mohamed Abdulla on Sat, 12th Mar 2011 10:50 PM 

    We must not bite the hand that feeds us.

  8. Mia on Sun, 13th Mar 2011 2:30 AM 

    what the ….

  9. Mikaloa on Sun, 13th Mar 2011 3:10 AM 

    A perfect scape goat to subside the ongoing exchange of love letters and majority of the house splitting and the accompaniments in the wake!

    Judiciary fully knows that they are prejudiced!

    Parliament too knows that the constitution they boldly refer to bring the Police and Defense Force to their heels is inadequate to run a state and to rule a people!

    Yet they think nothing else!

  10. mariyam on Sun, 13th Mar 2011 9:03 AM 

    When you have the biggest drug dealers and thieves of the country questioning the Police or Defence Force of the country, then its a big joke indeed! And the supreme court judges are just puppets there to do the bidding of the high and mighty drug lords of the country, so lets not talk about anyone respecting the Parliament cause as an institution it has failed badly to uphold the rights of the people of this Country! The Parliament is just a ground for Party battle now and we the public are the spectators! Sadly even we don’t have the guts to fight for our rights, so I guess we deserve the leaders we’ve got today, as they are definitely counting on us to keep silent, while they rob our country and our children of their rightful heritage!

  11. Ali on Sun, 13th Mar 2011 12:52 PM 

    So what? What can anyone do if Police and Defence Force refused to be answerable to this Parliamentary Committee comprising illiterate business man Gasim, Mafia man Yameen and others? No one.

  12. Afrah on Sun, 13th Mar 2011 6:14 PM 

    Why doesn’t someone seek the counsel of the Supreme Court on it’s own validity?????

  13. john campbell on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 7:28 PM 

    The head-line of this article attests to how inneffective Parliament must be if they cannot get their departments to either answer of even acknowledge communications. I was told many times that “I was not important enough” to warrant the above. It seems a strange criterion to place on whether these depts do their jobs or not. Always made me wonder how many in each electorate would be deemed “important enough” to have their representatives act on their behalf?

  14. john campbell on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 7:29 PM 

    Afrah……. does the supreme court act and meet for free?

  15. john campbell on Mon, 14th Mar 2011 7:29 PM 

    ALI: good question.


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