- Koome has tasked Justices Chacha Mwita, Lawrence Mugambi and Patricia Nyaundi to handle the petition filed in court by one Peter Gachuiri (petitioner).
- The AG says the lawsuit stems from benefits arising from an employment relationship and the same should be heard by the ELRC.
Chief Justice Martha Koome has appointed three judges to hear and determine a case challenging the Salaries and Remuneration Commission's (SRC's) decision to scrap car allowance for judges.
Koome has tasked Justices Chacha Mwita, Lawrence Mugambi and Patricia Nyaundi to handle the petition filed in court by one Peter Gachuiri (petitioner).
When the matter came up for directions on Wednesday, the three-judge bench said a preliminary issue raised by the Attorney General’s office that the matter be handled by the Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) be heard on February 2 next year.
The AG says the lawsuit stems from benefits arising from an employment relationship and the same should be heard by the ELRC.
The bench said the petitioner will have 14 days to file and serve written submissions to the preliminary issues and have them served on all parties.
The respondents in the case will equally have 14 days to reply.
Judges have been enjoying taxable car allowances until 2021 when it was scrapped by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
But the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) said judges are already enjoying comfortable lifestyles by being entitled to official transport which is chauffeur-driven as part of their benefits package and the car grant would amount to double compensation from taxpayers' money.
Judges through the Kenya Judges Welfare Association have however supported the petition claiming that the car grant is a necessary benefit to help them in their duties and personal use.
The association’s president, Justice Kossy Bor, in her affidavit, swore that it is a facility judges have benefitted from since 2008 and that the decision by SRC to scrap it amounts to discrimination given that other state officers are enjoying the same.
“It is discriminatory against judges given that SRC has recognized existing car grants for members of the legislature, executive, independent offices and commission while purporting to cancel benefits due to judges,” Bor said.
But petitioner Peter Mwangi says the move is a threat to the independence of the Judiciary and also discriminatory as only the judges were singled.