Friday, January 24, 2014

Does Civil Service Commision Breach Constitution?

The simple answer may be 'YES'. It does breach constitution again and again.

According to 2007 ratified Civil Service Law, Article 34, Section (Haa), Subsection 6 empowers the Commission to terminate employees if an employee breaches Civil Service law, Regulation and Code of Conduct.

The question here is how does the commission decide if an employee breaches the law? Does the commission empower to decide if an employee breaches the law? Or can the Commission listen Police, Anti-Corruption Commission or Human Rights Commission and decide as per their advice?

The simple answer may be 'No'. Neither Police nor Anti-Corruption Commission or Human Rights Commission are legally empowered to decide breach of law.

2008 ratified Constitution Article 51, Section (Alif) says 'Everyone charged with an offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, at the court of law'.

Further, Article 268 of the Constitution says, 'all laws of the Maldives must be enacted in accordance with the Constitution. Any law or part of any law inconsistent with this Constitution is, to the extent of its inconsistency, void and of no force and effect. The obligations imposed by this Constitution must be fulfilled. Any conduct contrary to this Constitution shall be invalid'.

Since Civil Service Law was ratified in 2007 and the Constitution was ratified in 2008, it is clearly understood the Constitution supersedes Civil Service Law. The decisions made by the commission thereafter on breach of law and imposing punishment based on these decisions may not be in line with Constitution

I believe it is the responsibility of the Civil Service Commission to make arrangements to amend the law. If not, it may be considered the commission deliberately breaches constitution.

Please note I am not talking about civil service disciplinary procedures. I perfectly agree with civil service code of practice and I understand employees are liable for disciplinary actions when they fail to meet standards. 

My point is that the commission is not empowered to decide if one has breached the law and decisions made by the commission inconsistent with the constitution is invalid and void.