Reprieve for Tunoi, Rawal as Supreme Court suspends retirement order

By Beth Nyaga

The Supreme Court has suspended the Court of Appeal order made on Friday requiring Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and Supreme Court Judge Phillip Tunoi to retire at 70 years.

Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndungu in her ruling said the two should continue serving pending appeal determination.

The Appellate Court had earlier upheld the decision by the High Court that all judges must retire at 70 and not 74 years earlier in the day.

The seven judge bench led by GBM Kariuki ruled that retirement age is set by the 2010 constitution and not by any legitimate expectation.

The court ruled that the promulgation of the new constitution saw an alteration in the systems and institutions as aspired by Kenyans and that the retirement age of judges in the new constitution was not an amendment but a fundamental reorganization of the constitution.

Kalpana and Tunoi had moved to court to challenge the decision to retire them at the age of 70 years, saying they were employed under the old constitution which capped their retirement age at 74 years.

The ruling renders the tribunal investigating Tunoi over alleged corruption irrelevant.

Rawal, alongside several other judges, had moved to court to protest calls for their retirement saying they should be allowed to serve according to the terms of the old Constitution.

Judge Philip Tunoi and David Onyancha had also protested JSC’s move to have them retire at the age of 70.


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