The request for information on the number of Indian military personnel in the Maldives, declined by the Ministry of Defence and the Information Commission, has been appealed at the High Court. A hearing for the case has been scheduled.
The request for information, through the Right To Information Act, was lodged by Ahmed Azaan, a senior journalist working at Dhiyares, the sister-newspaper of The Maldives Journal.
The letter sent by the High Court to Dhiyares’ lawyer, Uz Mariyam Nihayath, read that a hearing of the case would be held on 22 March 2021. The letter did not give further information.
The letter was sent by the High Court within 2-3 days of Uz Nihayath writing to the Chief Justice of the High Court regarding the delay over the case. Dhiyares had submitted the appeal to the High Court many weeks ago, and had received no word until now.
The case was accepted by the High Court on 8 December 2020. A copy of the answer granted by the State to Dhiyares’ RTI request was submitted by email on 26 January 2021.
The Information Commissioner’s Office had ruled that the Ministry of Defence did not have to disclose the number of Indian military personnel present in the Maldives; nor did they have to disclose any information of the agreement that allowed the use of Indian military aircraft in the country. Dhiyares is currently working to appeal the latter case at the High Court.