NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 – The Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board is hoping Parliament concludes the Miscellaneous Amendments Bill 2012 which, among other statutes, is seeking to give the board an indefinite term to allow it to finish its work.
Board Chairman Sharad Rao pointed out that this will give the board more flexibility to carry out its mandate effectively and allow each judge to be evaluated thoroughly.
“The vetting of the Court of Appeal judges started on 23rd February. Three months from the start of vetting, ended on 23rd May 2012,” he explained, saying their mandate expired on Wednesday last week.
Rao is hoping the Board to resume its work as soon as the Bill is passed and assented to by the president.
The Bill is also seeking to amend a provision of the Act which barred the board from hearing any applications for review by sacked Appeals court judges, until after all high court judges had been vetted.
Rao said the amendment would now allow the Board to determine the review applications before the conclusion of the vetting of high court judges.
He however assured the public that the delay was only temporary and that the board will resume hearings soon and make up for lost time.
“Once the judge or magistrate has been informed of our determination which we have done in regard to the four judges of the court of appeal specifying our reasons, then they are deemed to have been removed from service,” he said.
“That is subject to section 22 of the Act. This is the one that gives them the right to apply for a review.”
He stated that the limitations in the Act were directory and not mandatory and that to avoid any doubt, the Board has sought more flexibility from Parliament to enable it carry out its mandate effectively.