President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik last night stressed that the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) is not an institution with the mandate to stop and hinder the projects in the country.
Speaking to reporters after arriving in Male following the conclusion of his inaugural visit to China since assuming office in February, President added that the directive of the ACC is limited to seek and investigate acts of corruption within the government.
When asked of his concerns over the ACC’s statement that the Supreme Court’s verdict in relation to the Border Control System (BCS) project has left the institution paralyzed, President stated that the Judges were not in the view that the verdict had in any way undermined the ACC’s authority.
The High Court issued the temporary order to halt work on the project prompted by an appeal from the ACC following a Civil Court ruling which stated that the ACC did not have the authority to order a halt on the work of the project. The Supreme Court had also previously invalidated a temporary order issued by the High Court on the pretext that the order was issued by an invalid bench of Judges.
Highlighting the factors that should be considered when issuing a temporary order the Supreme Court verdict read that no existing regulation necessitates that any government institution obey an order to halt work on a project by the ACC and that there is no law validating such an order by the ACC either and thus decreed that the High Court cannot back the order by the ACC to halt the work on a project carried out by a legitimate government institution.
ACC while expressing concern over the order by the Supreme Court stressed that the verdict has now rendered the ACC useless with the authority only to investigate.
Department of Judicial Administration (DJA) last Thursday however, stated that the Supreme Court's verdict over the BCS project does not undermine the legal authority of the ACC.