The Supreme Court is today,Thursday, expected to hear a case in which Deputy Chief (DCJ) Justice Kalpana Rawal and suspended Judge Philip Tunoi are challenging their retirement. This follows a May 27 verdict by the Court of Appeal in which a seven-judge bench ruled that all judges should leave office at 70.
Court of Appeal judges verdict upheld a decision of the High Court on judges retirement age. But the two immediately moved to the top court, about half an hour after the verdict was issued, and managed to get the decision suspended.
Their case brought to the limelight a silent row in Kenya’s top court as well as the succession war for a new Chief Justice. At the centre of this retirement dispute is Supreme Court Judge Susanna Njoki Ndungu, who issued temporary orders that suspended the lower court’s verdict requiring her two colleagues to retire.
Her directive also barred the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) as well as Judiciary’s Chief Registrar Anne Amadi from advertising the DCJ’s position until the appeal at the top court is heard and determined. She had set June 24 as the date when this case was to be heard but Chief Justice Willy Mutunga rescheduled the hearing for June 2.