The High Court of Maldives canceled the hearing scheduled in the appealed case against the Ministry of Defense for refusing to disclose the number of Indian military officers present in the Maldives.
Dhiyares News requested the Defense Ministry to reveal the headcount of the Indian military officials present in the Maldives and the state expenditure on accommodating those officials, under the Right to Information Act, which was denied.
The Information Commissioner’s Office maintained that the Ministry of Defense did not have to reveal the information requested by Dhiyares News, and this decision was appealed by the media outlet at the High Court of Maldives. A hearing in the case was scheduled for 1:45 pm on November 22, however, was canceled.
The High Court reported that the hearing was canceled because the proceedings could not be aired live, as requested by Dhiyares Media.
The case was submitted to the High Court in 2020. The case was registered on December 8, 2020 and its first hearing scheduled for March 22, 2021.
However, the court has previously canceled multiple hearings in this case.
Reliable sources confirm the presence of Indian military in various areas of the Maldivian territory and the government has continued to refuse to share their head counts.
While many have raised concerns over their presence in the island nation, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has issued a presidential decree to halt the “India Out” movement, a campaign calling to remove all Indian military personnel from Maldivian soil and sea, spearheaded by the former President and opposition leader, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom,