Justices Rawal, Tunoi to go home

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By KBC Reporters

The crisis in the judiciary deepened Tuesday evening when the Supreme Court literally ushered out of the bench Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and Justice Phillip Tunoi.

In a case before it challenging their retirement, three of the five judge bench of the highest court on the land disqualified themselves as unfit to make a ruling on the matter due to conflict of interest on their part.

The Court of Appeal ruling that upheld the high court ruling that judges retire at 70 now pushes Rawal and Tunoi to the exit just 48 hours before Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga exits the judiciary after serving for five years.

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Three judges led by chief justice Dr Willy Mutunga, Mohammed Ibrahim and Smokin Wanjala entered a verdict that they are indeed conflicted and can therefore not adjudicate the suit on retirement age of the judges.

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They therefore upheld the decision by the court of appeal.

While walking away from the proceedings, Justice Ibrahim Mohammed who was first on the blocks said that he indeed held a certain opinion on the retirement age of the judges and therefore he cannot hear the case.

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He disqualified himself from the proceedings saying he that he will continue to uphold the Constitution and that public interest comes first.

A verdict that was reinforced by the chief justice Willy Mutunga and his counterpart Smokin Wanjala who withdrew from the suit saying that they are members of the judicial service Commission.

And with only 48 hours to go before the CJ exits the scene at the judiciary, the judgment means that JSC will now embark on advertising three positions that of the Cj, DCJ and the one left by justice Tunoi

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Meanwhile, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga is Wednesday expected to deliver his farewell address at the Senate ahead of his retirement on Thursday.

Mutunga who is also the President of the Supreme Court will be stepping down one year before his term ends in June 2017.

Mutunga was appointed in June 2011 and has overseen a number of reforms within the Judiciary.

It was also during his tenure that he presided over the presidential election petition filed by Raila Odinga which was the first under the new Constitution. Odinga had then challenged the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as the President.

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