High court nullifies 23 Bills passed without involving the senate

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High court has nullified 23 Bills that were passed by the National Assembly without involving the senate.

In a three judge bench, Justices Jairus Ngaah, Antony Ndungu and Teresiah Matheka, however, the court suspended its decision to nullify the Bills for nine months to allow the senate and the national assembly to comply with the law. 

“In the circumstances of this case we shall suspend our orders nullifying the impugned Acts for a period of 9 months from the date of this judgment within which period the respondents ought to have complied with the provisions of Article 110 (3) of the Constitution and regularised these Acts and in default they stand nullified,” said the judges. 

The court ruled that the Speaker of the National Assembly must  involve the Speaker of the senate and declared that where the Speakers of the House concur that a Bill is one that concerns Counties, pursuant to Article 109(4), the Bill must be passed in accordance with Articles 110 to 113, 122 and 123 of the Constitution and the Standing Orders of both Houses and is not subject to Article 114 of the Constitution.

“A declaration be and is hereby issued that Standing Order 143(2) to (6) of the National Assembly Standing Orders is inconsistent with Articles 109(4), 110 to 113, 122 and 123 of the Constitution and is therefore null and void”, ordered further. 

The Senate moved to court challenging the laws passed by the National Assembly without their involvement arguing that a  number of them relate to counties and the devolution process and therefore they should be involved.

The Court further declared that an Act of Parliament constitutes an Act that has complied with the legislative process required of both Houses by participation of both Speakers as required under Article 110 (3) of the Constitution and where the Bill concerns Counties by consideration in the Senate as required in the Constitution.

The National Assembly had argued that nullifying the acts would be a huge loss on the state considering the costs involved.

The judges ruled that the Assembly should have thought about that before passing the bills without the senate involvement.

The said bills include the computer cyber crime Act, Finance act 2018, the Public Trustee (Amendment) Act, Building Surveyors Act, 2018, Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act, the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2018, The Equalisation Fund Appropriation Act, 2018, The Sacco Societies (Amendments) 2018, National Youth Service Act, The Sports (Amendment) Act and The National Cohesion (Amendment) Act, the Insurance Amendment Act 2019, Supplementary Appropriation Act no.9 of 2019.