, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 21 – The High Court has ruled that MPs can now be served with court summons or orders within the precincts of Parliament after declaring sections of the Parliamentary Privileges Act unconstitutional.
The Bill that was passed by Parliament and assented into law by the President in 2017, gave Parliamentary staff immunity from being served with civil proceedings, but allowed foreign service to effect the same.
Justice John Mativo, said in a judgment on Monday that both section 3 and 11 of the Act are inconsistency with the constitution and thus are null and void.
The judge however declined to find that the President acted unlawfully by assenting the Bill into law , saying the Head of State did what the provision of the Constitution empowers him to do.
Justice Matiovo also allowed the petition filed by city lawyer Apollo Mboya, challenging the constitutionality of section 3, 7 and 11 of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act, on grounds that the provisions are inconsistency or contravenes the Constitution.
The lawyer did point out particularly section 7 of the Act that is premised on ground that exclude legal officer and staff of parliament from service of process from courts in Kenya exercising civil jurisdiction, but permits the same service from foreign countries.
The judge found that the Act discriminated some members of the Kenyan society from exercising their constitutional rights as enshrined in the Constitution.
The court further found and held that any decision made by Parliamentary committees are amenable to judicial review, saying the exclusion as provided for under the new act is consistent with the Constitution.
“The primary duty of the courts is to uphold the Constitution and the law which they must apply impartially and without favour or prejudice,” the judge observed.