High Court cancels appeal hearing for the case submitted by Dhiyares news against Defence Ministry’s decision to not disclose the number of Indian soldiers in the Maldives and the details of their expenses carried by the government. Dhiyares first submitted the case to the Ministry of Defence, then appealed the case to the Information Commission of Maldives, where the Defence Ministry came out with a statement saying details need not be disclosed.
The first hearing was scheduled for the 22nd of this month, however, the hearing was canceled and no reason was given. Today’s hearing which was scheduled for 1 pm was also canceled abruptly.
The High Court revealed that the hearing was canceled because the Information Commissioner resigned and that there was no responsible leader heading the office. High Court further stated that the office of the Information Commission of Maldives had requested that hearings proceed after a new commissioner is appointed.
The High Court accepted the case on December 8th, 2020. High Court has provided a copy of the defendant's response to the appeal form submitted by Dhiyares News via e-mail. It is important to note that a hearing was only scheduled after Dhiyares News submitted a letter, expressing their concern regarding the delays in scheduling a hearing.
While ICOM had also endorsed the Defence Ministry’s stance on not disclosing the details of the Indian Military’s operations within the Maldives, they have also decided that the Dornier agreement did not need to be disclosed to the public either. Dhiyares is also working to appeal the Dornier case as well.
The High court ruled that they had no jurisdiction to rule over the Information Commissioner’s rulings very recently. However, the Attorney General has stated that he will appeal the decision with the Supreme Court.