Dhiyares, the sister-newspaper of The Maldives Journal, has requested the High Court to permit the live broadcast of the appeals hearing regarding the Dhiyares’ declined RTI inquiry into the number of Indian military personnel present in the Maldives.
In a letter sent by Dhiyares to Chief Judge Hatif Hilmy of the High Court, Dhiyares argued that the outcome of the case was of concern to all Maldivian citizens. Therefore, Dhiyares requested the Chief Judge to permit the live broadcast of all hearings pertaining to the case.
The request for information on the number of Indian military personnel in the Maldives, declined by the Ministry of Defence and the Information Commission, was appealed at the High Court. The first hearing of the case would be held on 22 March 2021.
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 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. There had been no word about the case until Dhiyares’ lawyer, Uz Mariyam Nihayath, sent a letter to Chief Judge Hatif Hilmy regarding the delay. She received a response stating the date of the first scheduled hearing.
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.