THE high court has quashed the Parliamentary’s Power and Privileges Act that protects its staff and Committees decisions from being challenged in the court of law.
President Uhuru Kenyatta assented the Bill that was passed by Parliament in 2017 and has been shielding Parliamentary staff from being served with civil proceedings, but on the converse allowed foreign process servers to effect the same.
Justice John Mativo, said in a judgement that both Section 3 and 11 of the Act are inconsistent with the constitution and thus are “null and void.”
President acted unlawfully
The judge however declined to find that the President acted unlawfully by assenting the Bill into law , saying the Head of state did what the provision of the constitution empowers him to do.
Justice Mativo allowed the petition filed by city lawyer Apollo Mboya, challenging the constitutionality of Section 3, 7 and 11 of the Parliamentary powers and privileges Act, on grounds that the provisions are inconsistency or contravenes the constitution.
The veteran lawyer singled out Section 7 of the Act that is premised on ground that exclude legal officers and staff of parliament from service of process from courts in Kenya , exercising civil jurisdiction, but permits the same service from foreign countries.
Inconsistent with the constitution
“The act discriminatory as it bars some members of our society from exercising their constitutional rights as enshrined in the Constitution….” the judge said.
It was further held that any decision made by Parliamentary committees are subject to judicial review, saying the exclusion as provided for under new act is inconsistent with the constitution.
” The primary duty of the courts is to uphold the constitution and the law which they must apply impartially and without favour or prejudice” the judge observed.
He further stated that if in the process of performing their constitutional duty, courts may intrude into the domain of other branches of the government which is the intrusion mandate of the constitution.