Judicial Service Commission wants Deputy CJ Kalpana Rawal kicked out

Wednesday February 17 2016

The Judicial Service Commission wants the Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal kicked out of the Supreme Court as she is now aged 70, the Constitutional retirement age for judges. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Judicial Service Commission wants the Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal kicked out of the Supreme Court as she is now aged 70, the Constitutional retirement age for judges. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PAUL OGEMBA
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The Judicial Service Commission on Tuesday demanded that Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal be locked out of the Supreme Court, as she is now aged 70.

The judge was sitting in the court illegally since she was no longer eligible, the commission said in a letter to the Chief Justice filed in court in Nairobi on Tuesday through a Senior Counsel, Mr Ahmednassir Abdullahi.

“Justice Rawal is a total stranger to the Supreme Court having attained the age of 70, on January 15. The JSC has been shocked and dismayed to learn she is still participating in the court’s proceedings. Her action is an insult to the court and a blasphemous assault to the constitution,” the letter says.

GITHU MUIGAI'S ROLE

But Lady Justice Rawal has turned the heat on Attorney-General Githu Muigai, accusing him of seeking to influence a case in which she is challenging her retirement.

She claimed in court papers that Prof Muigai, being a member of the JSC, met Appellate Judge Milton Makhandia at the Karen County Club in Nairobi, on February 5, where they agreed that her appeal and that of Justice Philip Tunoi, challenging their retirement, be dismissed on the spot without reasons.

“I was informed by a very confidential source, whom I cannot reveal that the two met and agreed that determination of the case on the spot will render it unnecessary to constitute a tribunal to investigate Justice Tunoi,” the documents say.

She added that the JSC was deliberately delaying sending its recommendations to the President to form a tribunal to investigate Justice Tunoi as a way of kicking them out of the Judiciary.

Justice Tunoi, who is facing allegations of receiving a Sh202 million bribe from Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, on Monday made similar claims and applied for the withdrawal of Justices Makhandia and GBM Kariuki from the case.

The bribe was allegedly meant to coerce him to rule in favour of Dr Kidero in an election petition.

He claims that Justice Kariuki has a grudge against him because he fined him Sh500,000 in a contempt of court case in 1994.

But the JSC, through Senior Counsel Paul Muite, dismissed the allegations, saying the judge’s application was in bad faith and meant to delay the resolution of the dispute.

“Justice Kariuki cannot have a grudge against the judge  for what happened 22 years ago. His allegations are hearsay,” said Mr Muite.

The dispute is being heard by Judges Kariuki, Makhandia, William Ouko, Patrick Kiage, Kathurima M’Inoti, Jamila Mohammed and James Otieno Odek. The hearing will continue on February 19