Case to determine fate of Rawal, Tunoi to begin Thursday

Case to determine fate of Rawal, Tunoi to begin Thursday

A case to determine the ultimate fate of Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and Justice Phillip Tunoi tenure at the Supreme Court begins on Thursday.

The Supreme Court met Tuesday to lay the ground rules for hearing the case in which Rawal and Tunoi are challenging their employer’s decision to retire them  at 70 after the chief justice ordered the case be fast tracked.

But the case faces potential derailment following a series preliminary objections.

When Justices Smokin Wanjala and Njoki Ndung’u sat on Tuesday, their first order was to listen to objections from parties to the case and others that want to be enjoined.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC)wants last Friday’s orders by Justice Njoki Ndung’u that offered a lifeline for  the two appellants be set aside.

Part of their argument being that all the five judges are unlikely to be impartial when hearing the matter, since the Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and Judge Smoking Wanjala sit in the Judicial Service Commission that wants the two out.

Further, justices Njoki Ndung’u, Jackton Ojwang and Mohamed Ibrahim had previously objected to retirement of the two embattled judges at 70.

Activist Okiya Omtata has similarly objected to the five judges hearing the matter.

But Justice Rawal is still objecting to CJ Mutunga’s revision of last Friday’s orders by judge Njoki Ndung’u.

Rawal’s lawyer Kioko Kilukumi argued that the CJ was not qualified to make the changes on his own, and should have summoned a five judge bench instead.

Kilukumi also opposed the  enjoinment of the law society of kenya in the case arguing that lsk was not party to the same case when it was before the court of appeal.

Former LSK CEO Apollo Mboya has already questioned the suitability of Justice Njoki Ndung’u over her speedy issuance of exparte orders in favour of Rawal.

Instructively Justice Njoki Ndung’u moved to the high court to stop the judicial service commission from investigating her as petitioned by Mboya.

The JSC had last year warned Njoki and two other judges of the Supreme Court after they went on a go-slow protesting JSC’s memo that Rawal and Tunoi retire at 70.

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Story By Sam Gituku
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