JSC CANNOT GIVE THE PRESIDENT CONDITIONS TO APPOINT NEW CJ.

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High Court Judge George Odunga has prohibited the Judicial Service Commission from making any
recommendations to the President on who should be appointed as the CJ, DCJ or a Supreme Court Judge.

BY SAM ALFAN.

The body tasked with giving Kenyans a new Chief Justice cannot give the President conditions to appoint the CJ or their deputy.

The High Court has prohibited the Judicial Service Commission from making any recommendations to the President on who should be appointed as the CJ, DCJ or a Supreme Court Judge.

Justice George Odunga also tasked JSC to reconsider other applicant names it earlier rejected.

He also ruled that some clearance documents should not have been used before the interview stage.

The court further ruled that a decision to summarily reject
applications before the stage of interview was unsupported by law and was tainted with procedural irregularities.

Rights activists wants the court to stop the
interviews which started today.

They also want the whole process of short listing done afresh arguing that the entire process was flawed.

However Judge Odunga disagreeing with the applicants said, “There was no affidavit filed in court by the applicants to support an allegation that there was discrimination. The applicants did not request for documents in the interview stage, therefore I cannot rule that there was
discrimination.”

The petitioners argued that the  requirements that candidates must
present clearance certificates from the Kenya Revenue Authority,
Higher Education Loans Board is likely to lock out potential,
qualified candidates, an argument that the court court validated that despite those
certificates being very important in determining the integrity of the
next chief justice, they could not be used at the shortlisting stage.

Those who were not shortlisted for the interview include Supreme Court
judge Jacktone Ojwang, Prof Makau Mutua among others.

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