THE Judicial Service Commission is recommending removal of three high court judges from the bench.
The commission says complaints received against Justices Njagi Marete, Martin Muya, and Lucy Waithaka established that three are guilty of gross violations of judicial practice including bias and impropriety and must face a tribunal to dismiss them.
The JSC, a commission charged with the responsibility of ensuring independence and accountability in the judiciary, delivered this verdict after careful scrutiny of petitions and complaints lodged against Judges and magistrates.
Flanked by other members of the commission, Chief Justice (CJ) David Maraga dispatched the eagerly awaited news on the fate of judges whose conduct had been put into question.
The commission noted that three judges had felt short of the threshold needed for one to serve at the corridors of justice citing various violations established in their line of duty.
“ The Petition against the Hon. Justice D.K. Njagi Marete was filed by Kenya Tea Growers Association (KTGA), Unilever, Siret and 5 4 Others who were the respondents…
In those cases, the Hon Judge issued orders which had the effect of setting aside the orders of a fellow Judge of coordinate jurisdiction… .the Commission found that the petition had disclosed gross misconduct, bias, impartiality, and breach of the Constitution and Judicial Code of Conduct against the Judge,” Maraga noted in his statement.
In regards to Justice Martin Mati Muya, a petition had been filed against the judge by NIC Bank which lamented loss allegedly occasioned by his decision to allow the sale of motor vehicles that had been given to it as security.
After hearing, the Commission found that the petition had disclosed bias, abuse of office, incompetence and gross misconduct in the manner in which the Hon Judge handled the matter.
And on the part of Hon. Lady Justice Lucy Waithaka, the Commission found that a petition launched against her had disclosed impropriety by the Hon Judge for issuing two conflicting judgments over the same matter.
The findings leaving the commission with no choice but recommend the dismissal of the three from the judicial arm of the state.
“ After hearing the 3 petitions, the Commission was satisfied that they disclosed grounds for removal under Article 168 (1) of the Constitution and made a decision to Petition H.E. the President for the appointment of Tribunals under Article 168 (5) of the Constitution,” the Chief Justice stated.
Top Supreme Court judges whose conducts been put on the spotlight however appear to have won the hearts of the commission members. High profile petitions against Justices J.B Ojwang and Njoki Ndu’ngu were dismissed for lack of merit.
Maraga said the commission spared the two apex court judges over lack of substantial evidence to warrant any action against them after petitioners withdrew their complaints.
The CJ also disclosed that he had filed his response in a petition against him and 4 other apex court judges in regards to a ruling made on Wajir gubernatorial petition.
The magistrates were not spared by JSC given that 5 of them have been served with charges on various acts of misconduct ranging from the disappearance of files, the irregular release of exhibits, forging of documents, temperament, bribery, signing release order without surety and other forms of corruption.
The Magistrates concerned have been served and given 14 days within which to respond to the charges.