1.The application before this court is the ex parte applicant’s amended notice of motion application dated 10th February,2021 filed under, Order 53, Rule 1, 2, 3 & 4 of the Civil Procedure (Revised Rules); Sections 8 and 9 of the Law Reform Act (Chapter 26 the Laws of Kenya); and all other enabling provisions of the Law). The application is supported by an amended Statutory Statement dated 10th February,2021 and a verifying affidavit sworn on even date by the ex parte applicant.
2.The application seeks the following prayers;1.Thatan order of certiorari do issue, to bring to this Honourable Court for purposes of being quashed, and to be quashed:a.The amendments made by the Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020 to Section 38(1A) of The Retirement Benefits Act, No.3 of 1997.b.The Retirement Benefits (Mortgage Loans) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (Legal Notice No. 192 of the 14th September, 2020)2.Thatan order of prohibition do issue, prohibiting the respondents herein, and any other person howsoever acting, from implementing, giving effect to, or enforcing:(a)The amendments made by the Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020 to Section 38(1A) of The Retirement Benefits Act, No.3 of 1997.(b)The Retirement Benefits (Mortgage Loans) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (Legal Notice No. 192 of the 14th September, 2020).3.Thatconsequent to the grant of the prayers above the Honourable Court be pleased to issue such further directions and orders as may be necessary to give effect to the foregoing orders, and/or favour the cause of justice.4.Thatcosts be in the cause.
3.The Notice of Motion application is supported by an amended statutory statement dated 10th February,2021 and a verifying affidavit sworn by the ex parte applicant on even date.
4.The ex parte applicant’s case is that the new tax law which was assented to on 25th April,2020 by former president H. E. President Uhuru Kenyatta to cushion the economy and the Kenyan public against the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic amends several tax-related statutes in Kenya and these are the Income Tax Act (CAP 470), the Value Added Tax Act of 2013, the Excise Duty Act (2015), the Tax Procedures Act (2015), and the Miscellaneous Levies and Fees Act (2016).
5.It is also said to contain substantive amendments to the Retirement Benefits Act (1997), which amendments according to the applicant were sneaked into the amendment Bill after it had been passed by the National Assembly but before the President assented to it.
6.The proceedings before this court, it is urged, relate to the patent objection by the ex-parte applicant to the decision by the National Assembly to, without prior notification, sneak into the Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020 the following amendments to Section 38(1A) of The Retirement Benefits Act, No.3 of 1997:
7.The ex parte applicant urges that in a release from State House Nairobi on the 25th April,2020 by the President’s Strategic Communications Unit on the amendments to the Retirement Benefits Act (1997) it was stated that they were “aimed at increasing home ownership in the country as envisaged in the housing pillar under Big 4 Agenda.”
8.The substratum of these proceedings is the fact that the amendment Act amended Section 38 (1A) of the Retirement Benefits Act (1997) to allow the use of retirement benefits to purchase a residential house, yet these substantive amendments to the Act were not in the amendment Bill and were never considered and passed by Parliament.
9.The ex-parte applicant reiterates the fact that the new law allowing members of pension schemes to purchase homes through their pension savings under the Government’s Big Four Agenda was not raised in the amendment Bill presented to Parliament. This means that the law allowing someone to use their pension savings for residential housing did not go through the due process in law for enacting legislation including public participation.
10.The ex parte applicant’s case is that the amendments are also unreasonable because retirement benefit schemes in Kenya are set up and exist primarily to provide income to members when they retire and that their noble objective can be, and will be, defeated if other noncore objectives and competing interests are introduced and forced on the scheme as has been done vide the impugned amendments. Mr. Omtatah argues that Trustees of schemes are actually not allowed to and have no powers to vary the trust and deviate from the purpose it was set up for as to do so would be a breach of trust.
11.The ex parte applicant compares Kenya’s NSSF to that of Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (CPF). The Fund is said to be a comprehensive social security system that enables working Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents to set aside funds for retirement. It also addresses healthcare, home ownership, family protection and asset enhancement.
12.The contributions to pension schemes in Singapore according to the ex parte applicant are set at 37% of one’s salary - being from the employee 20% of their income and, from the employer, 17% of the employee’s income. Further that mandatory CPF contributions are tax-exempt for both the employer and employee. Both the employer and employee may make additional voluntary contributions to the CPF, but these contributions are not subject to tax breaks.
13.The ex parte applicant argues that most people who retire in Kenya prefer to relocate to their rural homes where land and building materials are more readily available and cheaper compared to urban areas and therefore according to Mr. Omtatah, it is incorrect and misleading to postulate that every urban dweller needs a house in the cities.
14.The ex-parte applicant posits that, since Section 38 of The Retirement Benefits Act, No.3 of 1997 imposes restrictions on the use of scheme funds, any amendments to the section must be carried out in strict compliance with the law, including by meeting the thresholds therein for transparency and accountability, stakeholder consultation, and public participation.
15.The impugned amendments change section 38(1A) from reading thus:
16.The Bill’s Memorandum of Objects and Reasons is said to provide thus:
18.The ex-parte applicant also points out that, as the law stands, the impugned amendments could not be introduced after the departmental committee stage on the floor of the National Assembly during the Committee of the Whole House. Further that, the National Assembly Standing Order 133(5) categorically states that:
19.The ex parte applicant contends that the unlawful amendments contravene several Articles of the Constitution that is Article 1, 2(1-4), 3(1), 4(2), 10, 19 (1) , 20 (1), 21 (1), 24, 27, 41(1), 47, 48,73(2) 93 (2),Article 94(4), 118(1), 109 and 259(1) and also Section 52(1) of the Leadership and Integrity Act, No. 19 of 2012.
20.The ex-parte applicant reiterates that denial of the right to public participation was contrary to Article 10(2)(a) and 118(1)(b) of the Constitution and the National Assembly Standing Order No. 127(3). The 2nd respondent is also said to have published the Retirement Benefits (Mortgage Loans) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 so as to operationalize the impugned amendments.
21.On 25th September, 2020, the 2nd Respondent is said to have Gazetted the Retirement Benefits (Mortgage Loans) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (Legal Notice No. 192 of the 14th September, 2020), and the Regulations commenced on 14th September, 2021. The Regulations implement the impugned amendments to Section 38(1A) of the Retirement Benefits Act (1997) to allow the use of retirement benefits to purchase a residential house. Regulation 22 requires that all schemes shall amend their scheme rules to comply with the provisions of this Part within twelve months from the date of the commencement of the said Regulations.
22.The impugned amendments are, according to the ex parte applicant, irregular, arbitrary, unreasonable, illegitimate, unlawful and unconstitutional, and, therefore, invalid, null and void ab initio, and of no consequence in law.
23.On whether the impugned amendment to section 38(1) of the Retirement Benefits Act were in accordance with the Constitution and pertinent legislative laws, the ex parte applicant contended that whereas parliament has the mandate to make laws, due process and constitution requirements were not followed. The applicant’s case is that the impugned amendments were also enacted in violation of the National Assembly’s Standing Orders which have a constitutional underpinning because they were enacted pursuant to Article 124(1) of the Constitution to govern the legislative process in Kenya.
24.The ex parte applicant argues that subject to the National Assembly’s Standing Order 133(5) & (6), the impugned amendments should not have been introduced on the floor of the National Assembly at the tail-end of the legislative process during the Committee of the Whole House after the Departmental Committee Stage. Further that the failure to mention amendments to Section 38(1A) of The Retirement Benefits Act, No.3 of 1997, in the Bill’s Memorandum of Objects and Reasons invalidated any amendments to the section as a Bill’s Memorandum of Objects and Reasons is not an idle provision, but an important summary of the intended legislation that the legislature has no powers to ignore.
25.The ex parte applicant’s case is that Order 114(1) of the Standing Orders requires such a Bill and Memorandum to be submitted to the Speaker of the House who in turn, refers it to the Clerk who shall draft it in proper form. The said Order 114 and 117 are said to have been an absolute bar to making the amendments given the fact that the impugned amendments were not in the Bill’s Memorandum of Objects and Reasons.
26.The applicant also contends that it is during the Committee of the Whole House to consider the Tax Amendment Bill that the Leader of Majority moved the House to amend the Bill by introducing an amendment to S. 38(1A) of the RBA by inserting the words "or to purchase a residential house" immediately after the word "mortgage loan." The Leader of Majority is said to have argued that the amendment was from Government. This according to the ex parte applicant meant that the members of the public and, specifically, the stakeholders in the retirement benefits sector, were never accorded the opportunity to contribute to the proposed amendments through public participation.
27.The leader of majority is said to have justified the amendment by saying that the bulk of bank deposits constitute pension funds which members of schemes are unable to access through a mortgage to buy a house owing to bank restrictions imposed by qualifications for a bank loan. Thus, the amendment will make it easier for scheme members to access their money from the scheme and buy a residential house.
28.The ex parte applicant also cited several cases on the principle of public participation one of which is the famous South African case of Doctors for Life International vs. Speaker of the National Assembly and Others and Others (CCT12/05)  ZACC 11; 2006 (12) BCLR 1399 (CC); 2006 (6) SA 416 (CC).
29.It is the ex parte applicant’s case that to the extent that the impugned amendment of Section 38(1A) of the Retirement Benefits Act (1997) was irregular, illegal, unconstitutional, null and void, the impugned Regulations are also void ab initio, with no effect in law as was held in the case of Galaxy Realtors Limited v Kenya Forest Service  eKLR.
30.As to the appropriate costs, the petitioner relies on the principle of award of costs in constitutional litigation between a private party and the State being that a private party who is successful should have costs paid by the State, and if unsuccessful, each party should bear their own cost as was held by the Court in Kenya Human Rights Commission v Communications Authority of Kenya & 4 others  eKLR.
31.In a replying affidavit sworn by Ukur Yatani on 6th July,2020,the 2nd and 3rd respondents contend that the amendment introduced to Section 38(1A) of the Retirement Benefits Act, 1997 allows the members of a pension scheme to utilize a portion of their accumulated benefits to purchase a residential house from such institutions and on such terms as may be prescribed in the Regulations, this being in addition to an option for members of a pension scheme to use their benefits to secure mortgage loans.
32.They contend that the amendments to the Retirement Benefits Act, 1997 were included in the Bill in accordance with the National Assembly Standing Orders during the Committee Stage and urge that before the amendments to section 38(1A) of the Retirement Benefits Act,1997,the provision allowed use of pension benefits to secure a mortgage.
33.It is also the respondents’ case that contrary to the ex parte applicant’s argument, the draft Regulations have undergone public participation as is required by the law and they are at an advanced stage of finalization.
34.The 2nd and 3rd Respondents in their rebuttal contend that there has been a well settled criteria for issuance of the orders of judicial review; these include illegality, impropriety of procedure and irrationality as was held in Re Bivac International SA (Bureau Veritas) (2005) 2 EA 43 and Pastoli vs. Kabale District Local Government Council and Others  2 EA 300.
35.On the role of a judicial review court the respondents contend that where the ground for the judicial review application is illegality, the court’s role is to construct the relevant legal provisions and come to a conclusion whether the administrative action was illegal or not. This was the position in the case Republic v Public Procurement Administrative Review Board & 2 others Exparte Rongo University  eKLR. The respondents also cite the case of Republic v National Water Conservation & Pipeline Corporation & 11 others  eKLR where the court held that “Once a judicial review court fails to sniff any illegality, irrationality or procedural impropriety, it should down its tools forthwith.”
36.The 2nd and 3rd interested parties on the other hand urge that the constitutionality of legislation is a rebuttable presumption; and, where the Court is satisfied that the legislation fails to meet the constitutional muster, nothing bars the Court from declaring it to be unconstitutional. Further that it is also important in determining the constitutional validity of a statute to consider the purpose or effect of the legislation.
37.According to them the purpose of enacting legislation or the effect of implementing the legislation so enacted may lead to nullification of the statute or its provision if found to be inconsistent with the Constitution as was held by Mwita J in the case of Kenya Human Rights Commission v Attorney General & Another  eKLR where he adopted the case of Olum & another v Attorney-General  EA and also as was held in the Court of Appeal case of Centre for Rights Education Awareness & Another v John Harun Mwau & 6 Others  eKLR.
38.The 2nd and 3rd interested parties also cite the decision in Ecobank Kenya Limited v Commissioner for Domestic Taxes  eKLR where it held that “The Appellant and other business people have a right of certainty and predictability in the applicability of economic activities. This right necessarily militates against policies, regulations and procedures which are haphazardly resorted to by public regulatory bodies without adequate notice to those whose conduct or behaviour is to be regulated.”
39.It is their case that the Statutory Instruments Act requires for the following to be done;(a) Consultation with stakeholders, (b)preparation of regulatory Impact Statement, (c) preparation of explanation memorandum (d) tabling of statutory instrument in the House, (e) consideration of the statutory instrument by the National Assembly. Further that section 13 of the Statutory Instruments Act provides for guidelines for the relevant Parliamentary committee while examining the instrument.
40.The interested parties also cite section 5(1) of the Statutory Instruments Act, 2013 which provides as follows:(1)Before a regulation-making authority makes a statutory instrument, and in particular where the proposed statutory instrument is likely to—(a)have a direct, or a substantial indirect effect on business; or(b)restrict competition; the regulation-making authority shall make appropriate consultations with persons who are likely to be affected by the proposed instrument.
41.The 2nd and 3rd Interested Parties contend that Parliament denied stakeholders public participation in the process leading to the amendment and that in failing to do so there was a violation of an important constitutional step. The Impugned Amendments according to them fail to meet the constitutional compliance step. The court of Appeal case of Kiambu County Government & 3 others v Robert N. Gakuru & Others  eKLR was cited on sufficiency of public participation.
42.The 2nd and 3rd interested parties contend that the impugned amendments infringed on Articles 27 and 201 (a)(b)(i) of the Constitution and that they were introduced at a time when the Government was giving tax incentives to Kenyans to cushion them against the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy. Their effect being additional liquidity issues for schemes which was a burden during the Covid-19 pandemic. The South African case of Prinsloo v Van der Linde  ZACC 5 and the Kenyan case of Stanley Waweru, Samwel Gitonga, Benard Oranga and Paul Mukono Kuria, (Suing as Officials of Kitengela Bar Owners Association) Vs The National Assembly, The Kenya Revenue Authority and The Attorney General; Petition No. E005 of 2021 are cited in this regard.
43.The 2nd and 3rd interested parties’ argument is also that the National Assembly cannot purport to be the originator or formulator of monetary policy in Kenya as its mandate is to deliberate on the monetary policy statement laid before it by the Cabinet Secretary. The impugned Amendments according to the interested parties negatively affect the monetary economy. In addition, that schemes that have inadequate liquidity having invested in illiquid assets will find it difficult to avail adequate cash to implement the Impugned Amendments by 14th September, 2021.
44.The case of Katiba Institute & Another v Attorney General & Another  eKLR is cited on whether the ex parte Applicant is entitled to the reliefs sought.
45.I have had due regard to the application, the supporting grounds, affidavit evidence and learned submissions by counsel for the respective parties. Of determination is whether the Applicant has established the legal threshold for the grant of the judicial review orders sought, and, if in the affirmative, what orders should issue.
46.Chapter eight of the constitution of Kenya, 2010 establishes the legislature. Article 94(1) thereof vests legislative authority on Parliament. Article 94(5) of the Constitution gives parliament the exclusive power to make provision having the force of law in Kenya except where such authority is conferred by the constitution or by legislation. Article 10 provides the national values and principles of governance which bind Parliament when it legislates and Article 118 provides that Parliament shall conduct its business in an open manner and facilitate public participation and involvement in the legislative process while Article 93(2) provides that the National Assembly and the Senate shall perform their respective functions in accordance with the Constitution.
47.The scope of judicial review was elucidated in the Ugandan case of Pastoli v. Kabale District Local Government Council & Others  2 EA 300 at pages 303 to 304 where the court held as follows;
48.The Court of Appeal in the case of Pharmacy and Poisons Board v George Wang’anga & 5 others  eKLR while faced with the question of whether judicial review proceedings threaten the legislative role of parliament more specifically the National Assembly’s mandate to enact, amend and repeal laws stated as follows;
49.The subject Bill’s Memorandum of Objects and Reasons provided as follows:
50.In the Bill’s memorandum of objects and reasons no proposed amendments to the Section 38(1A) of the Retirement Benefits Act (1997) were included.
51.Standing Order 133(5) of the National Assembly Standing Orders states as follow;
52.The ex parte applicant and 2nd and 3rd interested parties challenge the legality of the impugned amendments on grounds that the amendments were done during the Committee of the whole House stage barring stakeholders from publicly participating and further that the said amendments are not currently sustainable considering the current retirement schemes in the country.
53.The Court of Appeal in the case of Pharmacy and Poisons Board (supra) restated the limits of judicial review and stated;69.From the above excerpt of the learned Judge’s judgment it would appear that he delved into the contents of the section 34 and the rest of the Bill and arrived at the conclusion that there was no nexus between them. He even concluded that the National Assembly (2nd respondent) deleted a provision of the Act by mistake. The pertinent question that arises from this is whether he had jurisdiction to do so while sitting on judicial review. We don’t have to belabour the point that judicial review is about the process and not about the merit of the decision that is challenged. In determining the relevance of the amendments in question, the learned Judge overstepped his jurisdiction. We appreciate the fact that Parliament has the unfettered constitutional mandate to legislate and where they make mistakes in the substance of the amendments, they have a process of amending the same. The court cannot step into Parliament’s shoes and purport to legislate or correct perceived mistakes in the content of the Bills. That is over-reaching and hijacking the constitutional legislative mandate bestowed on the legislature.70.The order of certiorari sought was to quash the proceedings in the National Assembly that led to the amendments and passing of the impugned Bill. We reiterate that the National Assembly in its deliberations is guided by the Constitution and its standing orders and the court cannot prescribe to it how to conduct its affairs. We hasten to reiterate however that where Parliament passes a law that is inconsistent with the Constitution, the courts will not shy away from declaring such law a nullity to the extent it contravenes the Constitution. Were the impugned proceedings unconstitutional or did they merely fail to abide by the 1st respondent’s standing orders?71.From the contents of the Judicial Review application the applicant appears to have been aggrieved by the fact that a major amendment was introduced at Committee stage and this amounted to making serious amendments without subjecting the same to public participation, and further that the Bill ought to have been debated by the Senate too as it affected County Governments. Public participation was not going to be done on the floor of the house on the date in question. That would not therefore be a reason to quash those proceedings by way of Judicial Review. Were there sufficient grounds to warrant the learned Judge to exercise his discretion sitting on judicial review to quash the impugned proceedings and Bill?72.The comprehensive grounds for the exercise of judicial review jurisdiction were stated in the case of Pastoli v. Kabale District Local Government Council & Others  2 EA 300 at pages 303 to 304 thus:-“In order to succeed in an application for Judicial Review, the applicant has to show that the decision or act complained of is tainted with illegality, irrationality and procedural impropriety: See Council of Civil Service Union v Minister for the Civil Service  AC 2; and also, Francis Bahikirwe Muntu and others v Kyambogo University, High Court, Kampala, miscellaneous application number 643 of 2005 (UR).Illegality is when the decision-making authority commits an error of law in the process of taking the decision or making the act, the subject of the complaint. Acting without Jurisdiction or ultra vires, or contrary to the provisions of a law or its principles are instances of illegality…..Irrationality is when there is such gross unreasonableness in the decision taken or act done, that no reasonable authority, addressing itself to the facts and the law before it, would have made such a decision. Such a decision is usually in defiance of logic and acceptable moral standards: Re An Application by Bukoba Gymkhana Club  EA 478 at page 479 paragraph “E”.Procedural impropriety is when there is failure to act fairly on the part of the decision-making authority in the process of taking a decision. The unfairness may be in non-observance of the Rules of Natural Justice or to act with procedural fairness towards one to be affected by the decision. It may also involve failure to adhere and observe procedural rules expressly laid down in a statute or legislative Instrument by which such authority exercises jurisdiction to make a decision. (Al-Mehdawi v Secretary of State for the Home Department  AC 876).” (Emphasis supplied).It is within these parameters that we must consider the impugned decision.73.We are alive to the fact that the scope of the law on Judicial Review has expanded considerably under the Constitution. See this Court’s decision in Suchan Investment Limited vs. Ministry of National Heritage & Culture & 3 Others (2016) KLR where this Court held that Article 47 of the Constitution as read with the grounds for review provided by section 7 of the Fair Administrative Action Act, reveals an essential modification of judicial review to include aspects of delving into the merit of administrative action. This case is nonetheless distinguishable from the Suchan case (supra) because the former was challenging an executive/administrative action under the Fair Administrative Actions Act and not the conduct of The National Assembly in exercise of its Constitutional mandate to legislate. We therefore maintain that the learned Judge was out of step in delving into the merits of the amendments in question.”
54.Flowing from the above excerpt, it is a legal truism that the Court in exercising its judicial review mandate ought to be very cautious so as not to usurp the powers/mandate of independent bodies that have been established under statute (and in this case, the constitution) to undertake a certain mandate. A word of caution though; since the court cannot without undue intrusion into the operations of parliament engage in scrutiny of the merits of legislation passed by it (except where a question of constitutionality of the legislation arises), the court must of necessity find its entry point in exercise of its supervisory jurisdiction where Parliament adopts a procedure that results in a breach of the constitution and the set legal procedure in law making. This supervisory space must be jealously guarded and properly invoked in promotion of transparency and accountability in law making and in defence of the rule of law.
55.In our instant suit, the challenge to the impugned amendment is premised on the alleged flawed process adopted by Parliament in the amendment of Section 38(1A) of the Retirement Benefits Act (1997).
56.My humble view on the matter is that the court would be abdicating its constitutional role if it was to watch with inaction as Parliament conducts its constitutional mandate of law making without having due regard to constitutional ethos and statute as well as its own set procedures under the Standing Orders. Such derogation must be amenable to judicial review or a declaration of unconstitutionality as the case may be. This is no doubt the import of the dicta in the Supreme Court decision in The Speaker of the Senate & another, Supreme Court Advisory Opinion No. 2 (supra). I hold that view very much alive to the need for judicial restraint necessary and the boundaries beyond which the court ought not to cross as clearly stated by the court in The Council of Governors and Others v The Senate Petition No. 314 of 2014. Where the court held as follows:
57.I have carefully considered the pleadings on record. There is no denial that the impugned amendment was introduced at the Committee of the Whole House stage. There is no rebuttal that the amendment is contrary to Standing Order 133(5) of the National Assembly Standing Orders which sets the parameters of the amendments that can be introduced at that stage.
58.In introducing and passing the amendment in those circumstances, Parliament fell afoul of Article 118(1) of the Constitution which is reproduced here for its full meaning and import;Article 118(1) Parliament shall-a.Conduct its business in an open manner, and its sittings and those of its committees shall be open to the public; andb.Facilitate public participation and involvement in the legislative and other business of Parliament and its committees.
59.The sovereign power of the people to make laws is delegated to Parliament by the people through their representatives elected every 5 years. So long as a piece of legislation has been subjected to the due process of law making as postulated in the law and the House’s standing orders, the law binds every citizen and the only opportunity to offer views on the law is during the window for public participation opened by Article 118. The Constitution clearly spells out how Parliament is to conduct its business as seen in Article 118 above. If Parliament fails to abide by the set criteria and where there is a procedural flaw, the court shall intervene to ensure that Parliament conducts its business in accordance with the constitution and the law.
60.The amendment of Section 38(1A) of the Retirement Benefits Act (1997) was an amendment impacting heavily the utilization of funds in pension schemes. It thus would call for a robust process of stakeholder engagement and public participation. The introduction of the amendment at the committee stage denied the players in the industry, stakeholders and members of pension schemes the opportunity to contribute to the content of the envisaged law.
61.Whereas the court must respect the boundaries in observance and deference to separation of powers which is an integral principle in our constitution, in exercise of judicial authority, the court has the supervisory power over the other arms of Government to determine if administrative actions and processes by the executive and the legislature meet legal and constitutional muster.
62.I distinguish the decision in the Pharmacy and Poisons Board case above in that the learned trial judge in the decision at the High Court which was under challenge in the appeal had broached on the question of the merits of the amendments by Parliament and the Court of Appeal thereby held that the court cannot step into Parliament’s shoes and purport to legislate or correct perceived mistakes in the content of a bill. The Court termed that as over-reaching and hijacking the constitutional mandate bestowed on the legislature.
63.It is not within the province of this court in judicial review to interrogate the merits of the impugned law. But however good intentioned Parliament may be in the process of law making, if the process is legally flawed, the court must step in and defend the rule of law. To quote from the decision in Supreme Court Advisory Opinion Reference No. 2 Of 2013;Such judicial intervention is necessary to guard against mischief and to inculcate a culture of openness and transparency in the process of law making. Failure so to do could lead to draconian or self - serving laws finding their way to our statute books to the detriment of the people. It is an intervention backed by law and is applicable despite the established doctrine of separation of powers recognized in the constitution and I would again take refuge in the words of the Supreme Court in Speaker of National Assembly vs. Attorney General and 3 Others  eKLR where the court stated as follows:
64.From the foregoing, I reach the conclusion that the amendment to Section 38(1A) of the Retirement Benefits Act (1997) was achieved through a flawed Parliamentary process. The court has powers under its supervisory jurisdiction in judicial review to issue the necessary prerogative orders to deal with the illegality and procedural impropriety arising therefrom.
65.Having so found, what then are the appropriate orders to make? The Applicant sought the following substantive orders;1.Thatan order of certiorari do issue, to bring to this Honourable Court for purposes of being quashed, and to be quashed:a.The amendments made by the Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020 to Section 38(1A) of The Retirement Benefits Act, No.3 of 1997.b.The Retirement Benefits (Mortgage Loans) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (Legal Notice No. 192 of the 14th September, 2020)2.Thatan order of prohibition do issue, prohibiting the respondents herein, and any other person howsoever acting, from implementing, giving effect to, or enforcing:(a)The amendments made by the Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020 to Section 38(1A) of The Retirement Benefits Act, No.3 of 1997.(b)The Retirement Benefits (Mortgage Loans) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (Legal Notice No. 192 of the 14th September, 2020).
66.The Court of Appeal set out the grounds upon which the judicial review reliefs of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus may be granted in the decision in Kenya National Examination Council vs. Republic, Exparte Geoffrey Gathenji & 9 Others, Nairobi Civil Appeal No. 266 of 1996  eKLR when it stated:
67.In Halisburys laws of England, Fourth Edition, Reissue volume 1(1) page 202 Para.109, it is observed that;
68.In the same text (Hallisburrys Laws of England, Supra) an explanation on when the prerogative writ of certiorari is applied is given, thus;
69.The amendments by the Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020 to Section 38(1A) of The Retirement Benefits Act, No.3 of 1997 and the Retirement Benefits (Mortgage Loans) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (Legal Notice No. 192 of the 14th September, 2020) have already been made.
70.The applicable reliefs in the circumstances would, following the legal principles enunciated above, be an order of certiorari and prohibition. Am quick to point out that the grant of the prerogative writs is discretionary. The court has a wide discretion whether to grant relief at all and if so, what form of relief to grant. In deciding whether to grant relief, the court will take into account the conduct of the party applying and consider whether it has not been such as to disentitle him to relief. Undue delay, unreasonable or unmeritorious conduct, acquiescence in the irregularity complained of or waiver to the right to object may also result in the court declining to grant relief.
71.In the circumstances of this case am satisfied that that the court should exercise the discretion to grant the orders of certiorari and prohibition in favour of the Applicant.
72.With the result that I allow the amended Notice of Motion dated 10th February 2021 and make the following orders;1.Thatan order of certiorari do issue, to bring to this Honourable Court for purposes of being quashed, and to be quashed:a.The amendments made by the Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020 to Section 38(1A) of The Retirement Benefits Act, No.3 of 1997.b.The Retirement Benefits (Mortgage Loans) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (Legal Notice No. 192 of the 14th September, 2020).2.Thatan order of prohibition do issue, prohibiting the respondents herein, and any other person howsoever acting, from implementing, giving effect to, or enforcing:a.The amendments made by the Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020 to Section 38(1A) of The Retirement Benefits Act, No.3 of 1997.b.The Retirement Benefits (Mortgage Loans) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (Legal Notice No. 192 of the 14th September, 2020).3.That in view of the public interest nature of the litigation, each party is to bear its own costs.