Appeal challenging High Court order on CJ interviews to be heard next week

Appeal challenging High Court order on CJ interviews to be heard next week

The appeal challenging orders stopping the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) from going on with the interviews for Chief Justice and Supreme Court judge will be heard on April 26.

This after the Appellate Court certified the matter as urgent and directed that a three-judge bench be constituted by the acting President of the Court of Appeal.

“The application will be heard by way of go to meeting videolink connected to the court and counsel on record due to the current pandemic,” reads the notice from the Deputy Registrar.

The JSC filed a notice of appeal expressing its dissatisfaction with the orders issued by the High Court, barring it from continuing with its deliberations to determine who will be Kenya’s next chief justice.

The High Court issued the temporary orders pending hearing of petitions filed by four petitioners.

In one of the cases, a petitioner — Tolphin Nafula — argues that the Prof. Olive Mugenda was illegally elected as the interim vice chairperson for the JSC.

According to the petitioner, the election of the former Kenyatta University VC will relegate the acting Chief Justice to the status of an ordinary member.

Justice Anthony Murima has referred the case to the acting CJ Philomena Mwilu seeking to have a bench constituted to hear the matter which he said raises substantial questions of law.

In the second petition, one Memba Ocharo wants the interviews adjourned until the nation is informed whether the remaining candidates have complied with Chapter 6 of the Constitution.

”……the ongoing interviews for the person suitable for the office of the Chief Justice be stopped to avoid further wastage of public funds and open dereliction of the respondent’s constitutional duty and their conduct of interview that are clearly anathemic to constitutional principles and dictates,” court papers read.

The petitioner argues that it is increasingly becoming clear that the respondent failed to vet the candidates before shortlisting them for the interview.

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