Chief Justice David Maraga wants a case in which he is accused of poor planning of court calendars dismissed, insisting that the Judiciary is not run haphazardly.
Justice Maraga, in his response to a petition filed by a Nakuru-based lawyer Mr Elvis Nanda, defended himself, saying that the Judiciary calendar runs in accordance with the law.
In the petition at the Nakuru High Court, Mr Nanda accuses the CJ and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) of poor planning, which has led to delays in determination of cases.
But Mr Maraga, through his lawyer Isaac Wamaasa, insists that all Judiciary events are usually communicated to the public while judges and magistrates are notified in advance.
“Judicial trainings and education was not conducted in a haphazard or emergency manner as alleged but were preceded by a training planning co-ordination meeting of stakeholders and which the Law Society of Kenya were invited but have never honoured the invitation,” the part of the document.
He further explained that the meetings culminated in the preparation and adoption by the JSC in a Training Master Calendar that forms the basis of continuous professional development for the entire financial year.
In the constitutional petition before Justice Joel Ngugi, Mr Nanda also accuses the CJ and JSC of failing to make public the dates for judges and magistrates’ colloquium, workshops, training and judicial service weeks which he said are usually treated as emergencies.
Through lawyer Kipkoech Ngetich of Gordon Ogolla and Kikoech Advocates, Mr Nanda sought orders to compel Mr Maraga and the JSC to release the calendars for all the Judiciary events for the year 2019 which should be circulated to all judicial officers.
The lawyer also wants a declaration that the refusal by the JSC to release the calendar for judges and magistrates’ colloquium, workshops, seminars, training and the judicial service week for the year at the earliest is an attack against the functional and judicial independence of the Judiciary.
His move was prompted by the decision of the court to adjourn the judgement date of a case he was handling on grounds that the presiding judge had been sent for a service week in Eldoret.
The CJ has urged the court to dismiss the suit, saying it was filed in bad faith, constitutes an abuse of the court process and is a waste of judicial resources and time.
Lawyer Wamaasa who represents both the JSC and CJ noted that the petitioner sent a letter to his clients on January 2, seeking to be furnished with the year’s calendar which was forwarded to the director of Judicial Training Institute, Justice Kathurima M’Inoti.
The director addressed various issues raised in the letter in his reply dated January 17 and noted that the petitioner’s letter had failed to indicate the specific dates when the matters were adjourned because of unscheduled judicial trainings.
He stated that it was only due to unforeseen or intervening events such as abrupt budgetary cuts that forced the Judiciary not to strictly adhere to the training master calendar.
The case will be mentioned on March 5.