Let’s fight it out in court, JSC tells Rawal and Tunoi

June 3, 2016 6:43 pm
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The JSC resolved to have the Supreme Court handle the dispute and rejected the LSK’s pitch for mediation after hearing the terms set out by Rawal and Tunoi/FILE
The JSC resolved to have the Supreme Court handle the dispute and rejected the LSK’s pitch for mediation after hearing the terms set out by Rawal and Tunoi/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 3 – The Law Society of Kenya’s efforts to broker an out-of-court settlement between the Judicial Service Commission and Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and Supreme Court Philip Tunoi failed on Friday.

The JSC resolved to have the Supreme Court handle the dispute and rejected the LSK’s pitch for mediation after hearing the terms set out by Rawal and Tunoi.

The Court of Appeal earlier adjudged the two should no longer be in office as they are over the constitutional retirement age of 70 but they secured orders barring their removal from office.

Overview
  • The JSC resolved to have the Supreme Court handle the dispute and rejected the LSK’s pitch for mediation after hearing the terms set out by Rawal and Tunoi.
  • The Court of Appeal earlier adjudged the two should no longer be in office as they are over the constitutional retirement age of 70 but they secured orders barring their removal from office.
  • Tunoi’s terms were that he remain in office for the life of the tribunal looking into an accusation that he took a Sh200 million bribe from Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero while Rawal sought to remain in office until December 2016 and thereafter retire with full pension and benefits calculated up to the age of 74 years.

Tunoi’s terms were that he remain in office for the life of the tribunal looking into an accusation that he took a Sh200 million bribe from Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero while Rawal sought to remain in office until December 2016 and thereafter retire with full pension and benefits calculated up to the age of 74 years.

The JSC is however of the position that there is nothing to negotiate as the Constitution is clear that the two should have long vacated office.

“The commission does have the power to confer a benefit or Service which has already been extinguished by the Constitution,” Commission Vice Chairperson Margaret Kobia reported after the commission’s Friday meeting with the LSK.

The JSC said their position was further bolstered by the High Court and Court of Appeal decisions that the constitutional retirement age of 70 also applied to Rawal and Tunoi despite the fact that they were appointed as judges prior to the promulgation of the Constitution in 2010 when the retirement age was 74.

“This particular issue has been heard and determined by a total of 12 judges of the superior courts who have all reached a unanimous determination that the retirement age is 70 years. Five in the High Court and seven in the Court of Appeal.”

The LSK sought to have the dispute resolved out of the Supreme Court to avoid a conflict of interest.

READ: LSK seeks diplomatic end to judiciary retirement stand-off

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