Courts give 300 rulings in month, way past Maraga deadline

Monday, June 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
Chief Justice and President of Supreme Court, David Maraga. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

Alphonce Mung’ahu

High Court judges  and magistrates in Nairobi  have in the past month delivered more than 300 judgments and rulings to beat the May 30 deadline issued by Chief justice David Maraga.

The judges have been busy at their respective chambers at Milimani complying with Maraga’s direction that all pending judgments and rulings be written and delivered by May 30.

The judges and magistrates, who are at the same time working from home, are also writing pending rulings and judgments which they are delivering to lawyers and litigants through digital technology system.

Despite temporary suspension of judicial proceedings, Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Byram Ongaya  on April 9 delivered a total of 17 judgments and rulings in about two hours.

Partial shutdown

Three out of the 17 judgments were rulings which Justice Ongaya delivered at the Milimani Labour Court. 

In one of the rulings, the judge reinstated Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) nurse Stephen  Kaburia Rutere who was wrongfully interdicted six years ago.

Ongaya said Rutere who was nursing officer 111 at KNH was wrongfully interdicted by Human Resources Manager Justus Kimaathi Bui for allegedly inciting his other workers to join strike.

He said the decision was unlawful as the board was not involved in the action.

 The rush to beat the deadlines comes after on April 24 Maraga issued an internal memo reprimanding a section of judges and magistrates who were not working due to the partial shutdown of courts to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

In his internal memo to the judges,  the CJ said had a few of the judicial officers were frustrating and sabotaging the Judiciary’s efforts to conduct proceedings remotely and as a result the institution was being barraged with all manner of complaints and insults.

Though courts have moved away from hearing cases once a week, Maraga said he was shocked to learn some judges and magistrates were claiming they were hearing matters only on Thursdays.  

“Those scheduled to be delivered later than that date should, with notice to the parties, be brought forward for us to demonstrate that we are indeed working,” said the CJ.

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