Om­tatah wants 3-judge Bench for SGR case

Says AG should not have filed a ju­di­cial re­view af­ter con­struc­tion was stopped

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Judiciary - JILLO KADIDA @jka­dida

An ac­tivist has ac­cused the State Law Of­fice of set­ting a dan­ger­ous prece­dent by su­ing tri­bunals for de­ci­sions they make in dis­charg­ing their du­ties.

Okiya Om­tatah is fight­ing a ju­di­cial re­view ap­pli­ca­tion filed by the Of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­eral against an or­der made by the Na­tional En­vi­ron­ment Tri­bunal.

The tri­bunal tem­po­rar­ily stopped the sec­ond phase of the stan­dard gauge rail­way, which cuts through the Nairobi Na­tional Park. Ag­grieved by the de­ci­sion, the AG filed a re­view, in­stead of an ap­peal.

Om­tatah says ju­di­cial re­view ap­pli­ca­tions are sup­posed to be filed by cit­i­zens ag­grieved by govern­ment de­ci­sions, not govern­ment fil­ing against one of its agen­cies.

He said if this is not stopped soon, the AG might file such ap­pli­ca­tions against judges. Om­tatah said the tri­bunal is not a cor­po­rate body and can­not be sued, but the AG sued on its be­half.

He wants the case sent to Chief Jus­tice David Maraga for con­sti­tu­tion of a three-judge Bench.

The tri­bunal or­der was given fol­low­ing an ap­pli­ca­tion by Om­tatah, who said the govern­ment went on with con­struc­tion work with­out con­duct­ing stud­ies and de­cided that the SGR will cut through the park, which is “wrong”. It also did not get Par­lia­ment’s ap­proval, he said.

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