New Delhi, February 20: Amid the ongoing crisis in the Maldives, the Ministry of External Affairs of India (MEA) on Tuesday said that the State of Emergency declared in the Maldives on 5 February 2018 comes to an end this evening. ''It is our expectation that the Government of Maldives will not be seeking an extension of the State of Emergency so that the political process in Maldives can resume with immediate effect,'' MEA said in its statement.

The MEA further added saying that after the revocation of the Emergency, democratic institutions including the judiciary should be allowed to function independently and in a fair and transparent manner in accordance with the Constitution. “The order issued by the Supreme Court of Maldives on 1 February 2018 should be implemented in letter and spirit”, the MEA added in its statement.

The MEA in its statement further added that it is important that Maldives quickly returns to the path of democracy and the rule of law so that the aspirations of Maldivian people are met and the concerns of the international community are assuaged.

On Monday, Maldives President Abdulla Yameen had sought parliamentary approval to extend a state of emergency for 15 days in the Maldives as the "the situation has not changed", parliament's Deputy Secretary-General Fathmath Niusha told the legislature.

Yameen's latest action is certain to strain ties with India even further. As per PTI reports, during an extraordinary meeting of the National Security Committee of the People's Majlis, approval was given to the Decree for the State of Emergency submitted to the People's Majlis (Parliament) by President Yameen. Deputy Speaker of People's Majlis, MP Moosa Manik confirmed the decree was approved by the Committee during its meeting today held behind closed doors.

Earlier on February 6, the MEA had issued a statement raising concerns over a declaration of a State of Emergency in the Maldives. “We are disturbed by the declaration of a State of Emergency in the Maldives following the refusal of the Government to abide by the unanimous ruling of the full bench of the Supreme Court on 1 February, and also by the suspension of Constitutional rights of the people of Maldives. The arrest of the Supreme Court Chief Justice and political figures are also reasons for concern”, the MEA said.

Yameen had imposed the emergency on February 5 for 15 days to annul a Supreme Court ruling that quashed convictions against nine opposition leaders. Yameen had also ordered his government to free those held in prison. The state of emergency was to end on Tuesday but got extended, as per reports.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 20, 2018 06:35 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website