Judges entitled to the taxable car bonus

Judges entitled to the taxable car bonus

It is a victory for the judges after the High Court overturned a decision by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) revoking their taxable car allowance.

Justices Chacha Mwita, Patricia Nyaundi and Lawrence Mugambi simultaneously ordered the PS Treasury to process, pay and continue to pay the Sh10 million benefit to the judges.

The judges said they are entitled to the car allowance that existed before the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution and cannot be changed.

They rejected the Attorney General’s arguments that the benefit ceased to exist and did not pass into the new constitution.

Under the repealed Constitution, judges were allowed to purchase vehicles tax-free.

The point of divergence was whether the benefit passed to the new constitution, as the three-judge court said.

“We consider the automobile tax allowance to be a benefit for judges. It is enjoyable to serve in that position,” they said.

They also asserted their authority to determine the case saying that the issues raised were constitutional and not issues between employers and employees as the Attorney General suggested.

In conclusion, the judges declared that the taxable deduction for the purchase of vehicles for judges existed before July 2021 and is a benefit payable to judges under article 160 of the constitution and cannot be modified or discarded to the detriment of judges .

“It is further declared that the SRC’s July 2021 letter revoking the taxable deduction for automobiles contravenes Article 160 of the Constitution, is a threat to the independence of the Judiciary, and is therefore unconstitutional,” the judges.

The judges subsequently refused to suspend their decision for 60 days as the State had requested immediately after the decision was handed down.

“We have rejected the suspension on the basis that our decision has declared the act unconstitutional,” they said.