Koome picks bench to address car grant row
The Chief Justice Martha Koome has appointed three judges to resolve a rift between the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and Judiciary over the Sh10 million-car grant.
Koome picked Justice Chacha Mwita, Lawrence Mugambi and Justice Patricia Nyaundi to hear and determine the case by activist Peter Mwangi Gachuiri on the stalemate between the two state agencies.
Following their appointment by the CJ, the three judges yesterday directed all the parties to exchange their pleading before the hearing of the case on February 2,2024.
The judges are expected to resolve the issues of car allowances for High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court judges, which they have enjoyed since 2011 after the SRC ordered it scrapped.
The bench is expected to determine if the current stalemate over allowance is a potential threat to the judicial independence in this country.
They are also expected to hear an preliminary objection by Attorney General Justin Muturi who is seeking to have the case dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
The AG through a senior state counsel Emmanuel Bitta urged the court to first hear his preliminary objection that the court has no jurisdiction to handle the case as the lawsuit stems from benefits arising from an employment relationship and the same should be heard by the Employment and Labour Relations Court( ELRC).
“We believe this court has no jurisdiction to give directions on this case. You honour if you look at our preliminary objection this is a matter raising conflict between an employer being the government of Kenya represented by the AG in this case and an employee being the judge and arises from benefits arising from an employment relationship and our position is that the same should be heard by ELRC,” Bitta stated.