JSC off the hook in SRC’s bid to cap meetings

The High Court in Milimani, Nairobi, where Justice Chacha Mwita delivered the ruling. [Photo/Courtesy]
The High Court has delivered a ruling dismissing an attempt by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to limit the number of paid meetings of the Judicial Service Commission.

While delivering the ruling on Monday, Justice Chacha Mwita termed the move unlawful and not in line with the jurisdiction of SRC.

Mwita said that the commission only deals with regulating salaries of state officers; and therefore such limitation would be a clamp down on freedom of judiciary.

“The decision to cap number of sittings to not more than eight was a violation of the Constitution, and this regard order is hereby issued quashing SRC's decision,” the judge declared.

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It precedes a legal battle pitting JSC against SRC and Attorney General, where the Maraga-led commission argued that the move would ruin the recruitment of judges, following the reduced timeframe.

Budgetary cut

This is not the first time that the judiciary rubs shoulders with state departments.  In the 2018/ 2019 budget, the National Treasury embarked on a mission to cut budgetary allocation for courts.

As per the National Treasury Budgetary Policy Statement, the judiciary budget was docked from Sh17.3b to 13.3b.

The changes which were triggered through the Appropriation Act targeted reductions on various JSC operations comprising administrative activities, conference, travel and maintenance.

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The move however elicited checkered responses. Proponents lauded it as a good move while dissenting voices viewed it as a way in which executive was settling scores against judiciary, once viewed as a critic of the former.

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