JSC sends retirement letters to Rawal, Tunoi, advertises positions

Rawal Tunoi

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 ordered Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and Supreme Court Judge Philip Tunoi to proceed on retirement immediately.

According to the Director of Communications in the Judiciary Naim Bilal, the retirement letters to the respective judges were dispatched on Wednesday.

The JSC’s decision was informed by a move by three judges of the country’s top court to excuse themselves from hearing a case by Rawal and Tunoi challenging a Court of Appeal ruling requiring the judges to retire at the age of 70 years as per the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

On Tuesday, Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga, Justices Ibrahim Warsame and Smokin Wanjala, excused themselves from hearing the matter.

However, Rawal and Tunoi filed an urgent application seeking twenty-one stay orders to review the ruling.

The Supreme Court is expected to make the ruling on the matter Thursday after the bench vacated Lady Justice Njoki Ndungu’s stay orders.

In an advert seen by Citizen Digital and expected to be published in local dailies, the JSC has subsequently advertised for the position of the Deputy Chief Justice and the Supreme Court Judge inviting those interested to send in their applications on or before July 6th, 2016.

With the Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga set to retire Thursday, June 16th, 2016 and the impending retirement of the two other judges, the Supreme Court will be effectively crippled from handling cases until the replacement of the trio.

The Constitution stipulates that a Supreme Court must have at least five judges to constitute a quorum.

This then denies the country’s apex court the necessary quorum until their replacements are recruited and sworn in.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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