India Out case dismissed after PPM fails to show up at hearing

The Civil Court of the Maldives has dismissed the case filed by the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) to nullify the presidential decree banning the India Out campaign. The court dismissed the case after representatives of PPM failed to present themselves at the hearing scheduled on June 28 without citing a valid reason.

On April 21, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih issued a decree banning the India Out campaign and ordered all relevant state authorities to stop the activities of the campaign. He issued the decree following a review of the objectives and possible consequences of the India Out campaign by the Parliamentary Committee on National Security Services, which concluded that the campaign threatens to undermine national security by creating the animosity against a neighbouring country.

Additionally, the Parliament of the Maldives approved the inquiry report formulated by the committee on June 27. The committee has written down 24 findings in its report, which took into account the statements taken from heads of national security services and state institutions. The committee stated that it has taken statements from all relevant institutions and determined that the India Out campaign threatens the country’s security, economy, and diplomatic relations with other countries. Therefore, the committee recommends the relevant authorities stop the campaign and propose the necessary legal amendments in the Parliament if the authorities are not able to act due to legal constraints.

The Parliament’s approval of the report comes at a time when the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) revealed that it has sent a bill to the President’s Office to make it a criminal offense to conduct activities that harm the diplomatic relations established by the Maldives.