State appeals order to stop resort development at Dhiffushi lagoon

Supreme Court of the Maldives. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

State has appealed High Court’s order instructing to stop work on the resort development at Dhiffushi lagoon at the Supreme Court.

Dhiffushi lagoon was leased to businessman, Hamid Ismail, in 2015. However, in 2017, the lagoon was repossessed by the government, following which he had filed a lawsuit against the state at the Civil Court.

When Hamid requested to issue an interim order to stop work at the lagoon, Civil Court had granted the order in 2020. At that time the lagoon had been leased to another company.

State appealed the order to High Court, however, High Court had backed Civil Court’s decision – upholding the order.

Subsequently, State had requested permit to appeal the case to Supreme Court. Permit to appeal was granted on last Wednesday.

High Court upheld Civil Court’s order in last November. In its judgement, the Court had noted that the State does not object to the claims that Hamid had reclaimed five hectares of land at the lagoon at his own expense, by the time the lease agreement was revoked.

The Court also stressed that although the State, despite claims that the lagoon had been leased to another party, was unable to prove by words that the party is carrying out any work at the lagoon.

High Court concluded to uphold the Civil Court’s order by the unanimous agreement of the three judges presiding the case.