Suspects To Be Arraigned Within 24 Hours As Judiciary Increases Number Of Sessions

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CJ David Maraga [Photo/Courtesy]

The judiciary will upscale operations a month after key operations were suspended over the coronavirus virus.

On Thursday, Chief Justice David Maraga said the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) was working on finding a balance between keeping the justice system and safeguarding the lives of staff members and the public.

In light of this, the CJ instructed that  suspects be presented in court within 24 hours as is required by law.

On March 15, Maraga suspended the presentation of  prisoners and remandees in court for a period of two weeks.

“With regard to new arrests, all cases except serious ones will be dealt with at police stations in accordance with guidelines to be issued by the Inspector-General of Police,” he said.

Starting April 21, Maraga said, High Court, Court of Appeal for criminal appeal hearings as well as all registries are expected to increase the number of sessions.

“The hearing of criminal appeals by the High Court and the Court of Appeal shall be scaled and proceed through modalities to be agreed by judges seized by the appeals, the DPP, appellants and their advocates as well as prison authorities,” the statement read.

Further, court sessions will have to adhere to the Health ministry set guidelines which include social distancing, wearing face masks and observing respiratory hygiene.

“All pending judgements and rulings shall, in accordance with guidelines of the Ministry of Health will henceforth be delivered in open court upon notice to litigants and their advocates,” the statement continued.

Court registry staff have also been asked to resume duties, though in limited numbers.

In March, Chief Registrar Anne Amadi asked judges, judicial officers and workers to stay away from their work stations.

Ms Amadi also directed that notices of closure be displayed outside the courts with contact details of two staff members availed in case of emergencies.

Urgent matters, she instructed, were supposed to be handled via email.

So far, Kenya has confirmed 234 cases of COVID-19 with 11 fatalities and 53 recoveries.

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Written by Eva Nyambura

Content creator at | Passionate about telling the untold story. Lover of life, music and technology. Simplicity is KEY


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