NGO in court to stop recruitment of Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice

NGO in court to stop recruitment of Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) on Friday moved to the High Court in Nakuru seeking orders to stop the forthcoming recruitment exercise of the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and a Judge of the Supreme Court.

Under a certificate of urgency, the Trusted Society of Human Rights Association filed a petition against the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), the Attorney General and the Law Society of Kenya claiming that the short-listing was done in secrecy and under unknown criteria.

Through lawyers Bernard Ng’etich and Lawrence Karanja, the lobby group said the commission was in the process of recruiting a CJ, DCJ and a judge of the Supreme Court based on unknown criteria.

In documents tabled before Lady Justice Janet Mulwa Friday, the Trusted Society claimed that the JSC had been turned into a theater of absurdities and accused it of violating the Constitution.

It sought conservatory orders restraining the respondents from interviewing or appointing the short-listed candidates until the petition was heard and determined.

The lobby group also wanted the respondents compelled to provide it with the minutes of the meeting that came up with the rules of the short-listing and the criteria used in the process.

Lady Justice Mulwa declined to hear the matter in the open court or issue any of the sought orders saying that constitutional petitions were supposed to be heard by the Resident Judge.

She, however, certified the matter urgent and set if of inter parte hearing before Lady Justice Maurine Odero.

She directed the Trusted Society to serve the respondents immediately.

On Thursday, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) announced it would conduct the interviews for the positions of the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Judge of the Supreme Court from August 29th to October 7th, 2016.

The interviews will see a total of 37 candidates interviewed for the three positions.

The post of the Chief Justice fell vacant following the exit of Dr. Willy Mutunga, who opted for an early retirement while those of the Deputy Chief Justice and the Judge of the Supreme Court of Kenya fell vacant following the retirement of their respective holders; Kalpana Rawal and Philip Tunoi.