JSC won’t honour Parliament summons – sources

August 26, 2013 1:04 pm
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Highly placed sources within the JSC told Capital FM News that the commission had resolved to stay away from the hearing "since it amounts to interference with an independent institution/FILE
Highly placed sources within the JSC told Capital FM News that the commission had resolved to stay away from the hearing “since it amounts to interference with an independent institution/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 26 – The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has decided to snub summons by the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee after being directed to appear before it on Thursday to explain the decision to send the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Shollei on forced leave.

Highly placed sources within the JSC told Capital FM News that the commission had resolved to stay away from the hearing “since it amounts to interference with an independent institution.”

The commission had spent the better part of Monday discussing the way forward before releasing a short statement indicating that it had reached a decision that would be communicated to Parliament and the public.

“JSC shall communicate formally to Parliament of its resolution with respect to the summons. That communication shall be shared with the public in due course,” read the brief statement signed by acting Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Kakai Kissinger.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and the Commission on Administrative Justice have urged the JSC not to heed the summons because it was an infringement on its independence.

While the LSK argued that Parliament cannot invoke its summons on the Judiciary because it is an arm of the government, the Ombudsman argued that the JSC was an independent commission and its decision cannot be probed or reversed by Parliament.

“We caution Parliament against purporting to review any decision made by the JSC which is a constitutional body under the Judiciary – an arm of Government,” said LSK Chairman Eric Mutua on August 16.

Monday’s brief also indicated that the JSC had appointed a team of lawyers to represent it in a High Court petition filed by the embattled Chief Registrar.

Shollei went to court to demand the removal of three Commissioners from investigating her conduct claiming that they have a personal grudge against her.

“The three commissioners told me to my face that I will pay for any refusal to accede to their demands,” she stated in her suit papers last week.

She is accusing Commissioners Ahmednasir Abdullahi, Emily Ominde and Mohamed Warsame of instituting the probe against her for their gain.

Shollei claimed Ahmednasir tried to arm twist her into awarding companies associated with him contracts worth Sh1 billion to implement the Judiciary’s ICT project.

She further accused the lawyer of pushing her into buying a Court of Appeal building in Mombasa from his associates.

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