The High Court yesterday ruled that the disputed law of the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crime Act remains suspended, saying that the laws should first pass the constitutional validity test.
The ruling was issued by Lady Justice Wilfrida Okwany, following an appeal by the government to allow the Act to be applied.
Justice Chacha Mwita had earlier on suspended 22 sections of the act, in which the Bloggers Association of Kenya sued the Attorney-General, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Inspector-General of Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions over abuse of freedom of expression.
The suspended sections touched on child pornography and its penalties, publishing of false information, fraudulent use of electronic data, interference with computer systems and data, among others.
The bloggers argued that the disputed law infringes on and threatens freedom of expression and the right to privacy, property and a fair hearing.
“I find that the injury complained of has to be balanced with the legal requirement that all laws pass the constitutional validity test. In addition to the above consideration, the court is also bound to consider where the public interest lies and, in this case, I find that nothing can be of great public interest than the court playing its constitutional mandate of ensuring that the individual rights and freedoms are protected and that laws, especially those creating offences, conform to the law,” ruled Lady Justice Wilfrida Okwany.
President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Bill into law on May 16 amid calls to revert it back to Parliament to ensure its provisions are constitutional and do not violate the right to media freedom and expression.
The Act recommends a fine of up to Ksh5 million against offenders or two-year jail term, in some sections.
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