High Court of the Maldives has ruled against the court order to remove the ‘India Out’ banner hanged at the residence of former President Abdulla Yameen.
The banner was removed by the Maldives Police Service in April on charges of acting against the public interest under an order issued by the Criminal Court. The lower court’s decision was appealed to the High Court. The lower court’s order was ruled out by a unanimous vote of three judges of the High Court.
The High Court said the banner was removed by the police on charges of harming the public interest. However, the judges noted that the police could not justify why the banner was harmful to the public interest. The judges ruled that the lower court had not taken into consideration the factors to be considered in issuing the order to remove the banner. Therefore, the three-judge bench of the High Court unanimously ruled that a court order should not be written in a manner that is acceptable to the judge alone and that the legal reason for the decision was not stated in the order.
Furthermore, the High Court said the order was more about a constitutional issue than the merits of the case, although the case was submitted arguing that the order to remove the banner was an infringement of freedom of expression.