May 22, 2012 3:35:44 am
Acting on a request by the Maldivian government,India deputed a former High Court Chief Justice to help a Commission of National Inquiry in probing whether the controversial transfer of power from the then President Mohamed Nasheed to previous Vice-President and current President Mohamed Waheed on February 7 was constitutional or not.
Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs told The Indian Express that former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal was requested to go to Maldives to help the commission in reaching its conclusion. Headed by Ismail Shafeeu,a former defence minister of the island nation during the rule of former dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom,the three-member commission also included Ahmed Mujthaba,the president of the first Human Rights Commission of Maldives.
Sources said Justice Mudgal was asked to decide if the transfer of power Nasheed continues to assert that he was forced to resign at gunpoint in a military and police coup was constitutional or not.
Nasheed was forced to step down from office following a mutiny by about 100 officers of the police and the Maldives National Defence Force,who joined hands with anti-government protesters belonging to the opposition parties. After setting fire to the office of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party,the protestors had seized the government-run TV station and issued an ultimatum to Nasheed to resign or face an attack on the presidential residence.
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While former President Nasheed has been saying he was removed in a coup,his successor has been claiming that nothing of the sort happened.
Sources in the government told The Indian Express that during his meeting with Indian government functionaries during his visit to India earlier this month,President Mohammed Waheed had also requested that an eminent legal expert be sent from India to help the commission in its probe.
When contacted,Justice Mudgal,who returned to India last week said,I have given my advice on the transfer of power…. They wanted my help in how to go about holding a transparent inquiry into the entire affair as well as meaning of certain legal terms.
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