The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has appointed Hussain Shaheed as the Chief Judge of the High Court and Mariyam Waheed as the Chief Judge of the Civil Court. Letters of appointment were handed to them on Tuesday at an event was presided over by JSC President and Thulhaadhoo MP Hisaan Hussain. The swearing-in ceremony was also attended by members of the JSC.

Hussain Shaheed, the newly appointed Chief Judge of the High Court, takes over from former Chief Justice Hathif Hilmy, who recently retired. When the JSC initially opened applications for the position, not a single application was received. 

Mariyam Waheed was sworn in as the new Chief Judge of the Civil Court, succeeding the late Judge Ahmed Nimal, who passed away unexpectedly on 19 September.

In related news, High Court Judge Ahmed Shakeel has submitted a request to retire, a development on which the JSC has yet to comment. Judge Shakeel had been sworn in as a High Court Judge on 13 March of this year, after serving as the Chief Judge of the Criminal Court. 

His appointment to the High Court followed his oversight of a significant corruption case involving former President Abdulla Yameen. The case culminated in an 11-year prison sentence for Yameen and rendered him ineligible to compete in the previous presidential election.

Supporters of opposition parties PPM and PNC have labelled Shakeel’s move to the High Court as a “promotion,” alleging it was connected to the politically sensitive verdict he delivered against the former president.