Opposition supporters protest against the government's delay in releasing their jailed leaders, including former president Mohamed Nasheed in Male, Maldives

The US today condemned the Maldives government declaring that it stands with the people of Maldives and urged the government and military to "respect the rule of law".

Media reports said Chief Justice Abdullah Saeed, judge Ali Hameed and judicial service administrator Hassan Saeed who were in the premises were arrested. 

Earlier in the night, former strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom and his son-in-law Mohamed Nadheem were arrested from their home in the capital.

Special operations unit in riot gear advanced towards the Supreme Court in an attempt to break the gates on Monday night.

Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and several others were huddled inside the Supreme Court.

On Monday, President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency lasting 15 days.

"Though certain rights will be restricted, general movements, services and businesses will not be affected,” the president said while declaring emergency.

The state of emergency was imposed after the Supreme Court ordered the release of nine political prisoners, including former president Mohamed Nasheed which led the government to be on collision course against the judiciary.

Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and several others are inside the Supreme Court.