Department of Judicial Administration (DJA) has suspended 56 lawyers, who stood up calling for judicial reform, for rallying outside the Supreme Court.
In a statement on Sunday night, DJA said the lawyers were suspended for violating the constitution and other relevant laws and regulations.
According to DJA, they rallied outside the Supreme Court against the law, in such a way that it would compromise the independence of the judiciary and judges.
The statement also said DJA is investigating the lawyers for meddling with and attempting to influence the judiciary’s work, writing and signing an unlawful document against court procedures and rulings, and contempt of court.
Some of the suspended lawyers are representing clients in major cases. They include: former president Mohamed Nasheed’s legal team members Ahmed Abdulla Afeef, Hassan Latheef, Abdulla Shaair and Ibrahim Rifath; former vice president Ahmed Adeeb’s lawyers Moosa Siraj and Mahfooz Saeed; Jumhooree Party leader Qasim Ibrahim’s legal team members Hisaan Hussain, Nooru’Salaam, Masthoor Hussain and Ahmed Safeeq; former Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ahmed Nazim’s lawyer Farish Abdulla; and Adhaalath Party leader Imran Abdulla’s lawyer Ali Zahir.
In addition, prominent lawyers like former Attorney General Husnu Suood, Maldivian Democratic Party’s Secretary General Anas Abdul Sattar, North-Maafannu MP Imthiyaz Fahumy, North-Machchangolhi MP Mariya Ahmed Didi were also among suspended lawyers.
In August, 56 lawyers signed and filed a petition with the Supreme Court expressing concern about the judiciary. In the petition they highlighted 14 issues including sentencing in absentia, obtaining witness testimonies in secrecy, unacceptable remand periods, judges influencing each other, poor functioning of the Judicial Service Commission and Attorney General and Prosecutor General's failure to fulfil their responsibility. But, the petition was rejected by the top court.