NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31- An application has been filed in the criminal division of the High Court seeking to challenge traffic laws under which motorists are charged.
According to the applicant Ankush Manoj Shah, the prosecution has continuously applied laws which have not been repealed to the detriment of the citizens.
Shah through his lawyer Allen Gichuhi said that he was charged on 28 August 2014 before traffic court under outdated charges but declined to plead to the charges as they were duplicated and thus attracting more penalties as opposed to the regulations set out in the Traffic Act.
He says that the application before the court raises of issues of national importance, as the court would have to be guided to ensure that the charge sheets prescribe in accordance with nature of the offence and attract the correct penalty.
“Citizen are exposed to an illegal penalty is deprived his right to property as provided for under section 40 of the Constitution,” the lawyer argued.
He argues that the court should act within the maximum penalties, saying its unconstitutional for a person to be charged under non existing offence which goes on to deny the citizen liberty to enjoy the least severe of the prescribed punishment for an offence as prescribed under section 50 (2) of the Constitution.
If his arguments are adopted, Gichuhi says the litigation on backlog of cases will be fewer cases as Kenyans will opt to pay the correct fine as prescribed under section 43 of Traffic Act which is Sh300 for exceeding the speed limit of 50kph.
He says that the Traffic (Minor Offences) rules of 1975 were last emended in 1984, saying the same has not been repealed giving arise to stringent bail terms imposed to on citizen who end up unlawfully incarcerated in remand prison
The lawyer will represent his application before Justice Grace Ngenye at the criminal revision court on Tuesday 2016 for consideration.