Court bars JSC from effecting retirement of 69-year-old Judge Erastus Githinji


Court bars JSC from effecting retirement of 69-year-old Judge Erastus Githinji
Court of Appeal judge Erastus Githinji. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • Employment and Labour Relations Court Justice Bryan Ongayo stopped the JSC from effecting the July 1, 2019 notice of retirement to the judge pending the hearing of a petition filed by Githinji.
  • The embattled 69-year-old judge had moved to court challenged his retirement saying it was not properly computed and calculated.
  • His lawyer Patrick Kahonge told the court that the administrative decision by JSC is “in bad faith, irrational, unreasonable and adversely affects the judge’s rights.”

A Nairobi court on Thursday barred the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) from retiring Court of Appeal Judge Erastus Githinji.

Employment and Labour Relations Court Justice Bryan Ongayo stopped the JSC from effecting the July 1, 2019 notice of retirement to the judge pending the hearing of a petition filed by Githinji.

The embattled 69-year-old judge challenged his retirement in court saying it was not properly computed and calculated.

His lawyer Patrick Kahonge told the court that the administrative decision by JSC is “in bad faith, irrational, unreasonable and adversely affects the judge’s rights.”

The judge – in the case — argued that JSC did not properly calculate his age according to his birth certificate which shows he was born on December 30, 1949; this, he says, means his retirement at 70 is due on December 29, 2019.

Justice Githinji further argued that sending him on retirement in July this year exposes him to great prejudice including criminal liability as he might be accused of falsifying his date of birth.

The Appellate Court judge also claimed he was never given an opportunity to be heard before JSC made the decision which was communicated to him in a letter dated October 30, 2018.

He now wants the court to issue an order quashing the notice by JSC and stop his retirement.

Justice Erastus Githinji joined the bench in 1975 and was recently transferred from Nairobi to Kisumu.

In June 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that judges must retire at 70 years and not 74 as was the case in the old Constitution.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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