Parliament accepts bill to grant powers to Presidential Commissions

Maldives Parliament on Wednesday accepted he Bill on granting powers to the presidential commissions, and sent it to the Judicial Committee for review.

The Bill was accepted with the vote of 79 members out of 81 who were present during the sitting. Alifushi MP Mohamed Rasheed Hussain submitted the Bill on granting powers to the presidential commissions formed to recover state assets and investigate disappearances and murders on behalf of the state.

Some of these clauses in the initially proposed Bill include the power for the Presidential Commissions to summon any person before the Commission for questioning. Additionally, the Bill also requires any person summoned, to be completely truthful during any inquiry. The Bill would also empower these Commissions to take into custody, any documents or evidence that the Commission sees fit.

The initially proposed Bill allows the Commissions to order the handing over of any required documents or evidence regarding an ongoing case and to take witness testimony during a summon.

Any person not complying fully with any of the orders or summons of the Commission is committing a crime, as dictated by the initially proposed Bill.

Should the Commissions investigate any Criminal cases, the Commissions will be empowered under the same laws and regulations afforded to any institution that has the power to investigate criminal activity. The same also applies in the case of Civil cases taken on by the Commissions, as stated by the initially proposed Bill.