BY SAM ALFAN
The Industrial Court has declined to issue an order reinstating former Chief Registrar of Judiciary Gladys Boss Shollei to her former position.
The former chief registrar had moved to court seeking orders to halt the recruitment of the new chief registrar of judiciary until the suit she has filed against JSC is heard and determined.
However the court held that the former chief registrar has an arguable case after she accused some commissioners of JSC of impartiality who recommended her dismissal as the chief registrar of the judiciary.
Her lawyer Donald Korir informed the court Mrs shollei was willing to go on leave until her matter is investigated if the JSC is suspecting she might interfere with the investigation in any way.
Shollei is seeking to be reinstated to her position of chief registrar and to be compensated and also asked the court to quash her dismissal letter dated 18.10.13 and issue orders compelling the respondent to comply with the applicable law.
The court observed that “As regards reinstatement, this court has stated time and again that it cannot order reinstatement of any employee to any company even if he may be wrongly dismissed. The only alternative remedy in such circumstances is to order payment of compensation”
The court added that the effect of quashing the letter of removal has the effect of reinstating the applicant to her previous office but this is the matter to be canvassed at the hearing of the petition itself.
Mr Donald Kipkorir submitted that the office of the registrar is a unique office without an equivalent and that failure by the court to stop the process of replacing the applicant cannot be able to get same job elsewhere in this country.
“It is opportune to note that the office of the chief registrar of the judiciary plays the role of head of th judiciary administration and accounting functions and in public interest that the office is very critical to the functioning of the judiciary arm of government does not remain vacant” ruled the Justice Nduma Nderi.
Last week through his lawyer has urged the court to reinstate her to her former position of chief registrar of judiciary, awaiting the hearing and determination of a case she has filed seeking to be reinstated back to office.
Her lawyer had requested the court to suspend the recruitment of the new registrar. Shollei informed the court that she will be willing to proceed on leave until her case is heard and determined.
The lawyers told Justice Nduma Nderi that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) violated her fundamental rights and freedoms for a free and fair trial.Kipkorir said that until now her client has never been issued Shollei with a dismissal letter or the reasons for her removal but in response JSC lawyer dismissed Kipkorir’s sentiment and said shollei has already been served with the letter
Former registrar maintained that the JSC had no power to handle the disciplinary proceedings, and she severally accused four commissioners for her tribulations. Kipkorir argued that the JSC did not give her a fair administrative process or impartial hearing. She claimed that she was denied a public hearing even after seeking the same.
The defense team argues that Shollei has a case to argue before the court should give her the temporary orders and stop the ongoing recruitment process to replace her.
JSC defense Counsel Paul Muite and lawyer Issa Mansour, dismissed the argument saying that Shollei did not enjoy security of tenure in her position as registrar of judiciary and her employer terminated her contract after she was found liable for her indiscipline and irregular procurement and financial mismanagement. Shollei want to be compensated and recruitment of new registrar stopped
The Commission on Administrative Justice has filed an application seeking to be enjoined in the suit.Shollei did no objection their application to be enjoined in the case. Senior counsel Muite applied to seek instructions from the JSC and respond on December 1.
Justice Nderi will rule on the matter on November 22 whether to reinstate and compensate Shollei or not. Shollei was fired after she was suspended for 21 days a move that Shollei has protested strongly