Chief Justice Willy Mutunga

Chief Justice and president of the Supreme Court Willy Mutunga has issued a directive to fast track the hearing of retirement case of Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and Justice Philip Tunoi.

Justice Njoki Ndung'u
Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung’u

This comes after Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung’u overruled a ruling of the Court of Appeal that directed that Rawal and Tunoi to resign at 70 years.

Following the two court decisions that have plunged the Judiciary into crisis over the retirement age case of judges, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has given a directive asking the parties to appear before a 5 bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday for the hearing of the appeal by Judges Kalpana Rawal and Philip Tunoi.
The Chief Justice’s directive came after the Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung’u issued an injunction to allow Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and Philip Tunoi to continue serving barely hours after a seven judge bench of the court of Appeal ruled that Kalpana and Philip Tunoi should resign at 70 years.

In the High Court judgment, the five judges headed by Judge David Mwongo ruled that Tunoi and Rawal to retire at 70 and not 74 but Rawal is adamant she is supposed to retire at the age of 74 since she was hired under the old constitution.
The new directive by the chief justice will come to play on Tuesday when all the parties will meet at the Supreme Court for briefing.
Judge Njoki Ndung’u had set the hearing date on the 24th of June but the CJ has overruled and placed it on the 2nd of June.
The move is meant to achieve a quorum for the case at the Supreme Court
Nonetheless, another legal challenged could cripple the process since the Chief Justice is the president of the Judicial Service Commission which wants both Tunoi and Rawal to resign at 70.

Judge Smokin Wanjala is also a member of the JSC meaning he too cannot hear a matter in which JSC is a party.
That looming legal hurdle on this appeal will be know on Tuesday after 10am when the parties will appear before Judges Smokin Wanjala and Njoki Ndung’u as directed by the Chief Justice..