The High Court of the Maldives has canceled a scheduled hearing in an ongoing case against the Ministry of Defense for their refusal to disclose the number of Indian military personnel currently stationed in the country.
The media outlet Dhiyares News had requested the information, including the state expenditure for their deployment, under the Right to Information Act but the request was denied by the Ministry. The Information Commissioner's Office upheld the decision and Dhiyares News subsequently appealed to the High Court.
The case, which was first registered on December 8th, 2020, has seen multiple cancellations of hearings, including the latest scheduled for January 11th, and a previous hearing scheduled for November 22nd, 2022. The court cited the inability to live-stream the proceedings as the reason for the cancellations.
Despite the government's refusal to disclose the information, reliable sources have confirmed the presence of Indian military in various parts of the Maldives. Concerns have been raised over their presence in the country, but President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has issued a presidential decree to halt the "India Out" movement, a campaign calling for the removal of Indian military personnel from Maldivian soil, led by former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom.