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Over 50 bars risk closure as petition dismissed

By Nderitu Gichure | April 4th 2016

More than 50 bars in the county risk closure after the High Court dismissed a petition by their owners.

The bar owners had challenged a decision by the county government to deny them full licences.

In an application for a judicial review dated November 30, 2015, bar owners had asked the court to grant them leave of stay.

Justice John Mativo, however, on Friday noted that an administrative decision could only be challenged for illegality, irrationality and procedural impropriety.

“Upon considering the arguments advanced by both sides, I find that the applicants have not satisfied the threshold for this court to grant leave as sought,” Justice Mativo said.

The traders, mostly from Tetu sub-county, had sued the county government and the county commissioner for ordering closure of their bars.

Judicial Review

They sought to be granted leave to institute judicial review proceedings to quash a decision of the county government to issue temporary licences as opposed to full licences.

They said the county had issued them with temporary licences upon payment of the requisite fees.

The bar owners also wanted the court to stop harassment by the county commissioner.

They argued that on November 30, last year, the county regulation committee approved a special licence for each of them to run their respective businesses for a period of two months between December 1, last year, and January 31, this year.

They claimed they had been given up to December 8, last year, to make the requisite payments but the county commissioner proceeded to shut down the aforesaid premises and resorted to making arbitrarily arresting the applicants on grounds that the temporary licences had been revoked.

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