Was the JSC justified to reject Justice and Legal Affairs Committee order for summons?

Posted: August 27, 2013 in Politics/Current issues
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Chief Registrar Gladys Shollei addresses the Press outside the Supreme Court after she was sent on leave on August 19, 2013.

There appears to be a showdown between parliament and the Judiciary over the controversy surrounding the sending off of Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Shollei.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) yesterday indicated that it will not honor the summons issued to them appear before the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on Thursday. In a meeting chaired by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga at the Supreme Court, the JSC agreed not to honor the sermons.

Sources from the Judiciary said JSC cited the need to safeguard its independence and separation of powers as set out in the Constitution is what led the JSC into coming up with that conclusion. Honouring the sermons could therefore be infringing on the JSC independence.

Earlier on, members of the parliamentary committee led by Committee Chairman Samuel Chepkonga warned JSC of consequences of failing to appear before Parliament on Thursday as scheduled. According to the chair, summons had been sent out to individual members of the JSC.

The parliamentary committee wants the JSC and three of its 11 members to shed light on allegations made before it by Shollei, who was sent on leave last week. Shollei was sent on a 15-day forced leave by the JSC pending investigations into allegations of financial impropriety against her.

Question is, should the JSC honor these summons? Particularly after Shollei admitted to strained relations with the outspoken member of the commission, Ahmednasir Abdullahi, Judge Mohammed Warsame and Chief Magistrate Emily Ominde.

 

By Nixon Kanali

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