7 November 2012

Kenya: JSC Denies Media Reports On Judges' Vehicles

The Judicial Service Commission has denied media reports about the type of vehicles judges drive.

According to a story published in one of the dailies the JSC had reportedly rejected car loans for judges and instead used the money to buy 40 new luxury vehicles.

In a statement released today, the JSC has called the reports inaccurate. It has said that the car loan proposed by Treasury was untenable as it was no longer going to be " a benefit but a punishment to judges who would have to make monthly repayments that would unconstitutionally reduce their pay"

The JSC has also stated that the Mercedes Benz vehicles and other driven by Judges were issued by government as part of the 1998 report of the Committee on the Administration of Justice, also known as the Kwach report.

The vehicles purchased for Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and other Judges were to replace the old ones that were too expensive to maintain and exceeded the government's 1800 cc engine capacity. The current range does not exceed the 1800 cc engine capacity the statement reads.

"The Chief Justice's old official car, a Mercedes Benz S320, was replaced after 12 years because it was becoming expensive to maintain on account of its age. Since the S320 is no longer in production, the equivalent S350 was bought - with full approvals from the relevant offices. Similar approvals were obtained to buy Land Cruiser Prados that exceed the engine rating of 2000 cc to enable Court of Appeal judges who hear cases on circuits outside Nairobi," the JSC has said.

In the statement, that JSC has said that the judiciary is sensitive to the issue of public service vehicles will implement steps to resolve the issue including moving away from the Mercedes Benz model and formulating a car loan scheme allowing judges to buy vehicles of their choice.

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