|Court Told Orders Against Kamani Brothers Illegal|
|Thursday, May 31, 2007|
By John Osoro
Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) unlawfully obtained orders requiring two brothers allegedly linked with the Anglo Leasing scandal to surrender their passports, the High Court was told yesterday.
The Commission usurped the powers of the courts by seeking to have Deepak Kamani and Rashmi Kamani surrender their travel documents on allegations that they were being investigated, the court heard. Lawyer Fred Ngatia said the anti-graft body obtained the order one year ago and the same has been served on the petitioners.
He said the petitioners ought to have been given an opportunity to state their position before such orders were issued. The lawyer told Justices Joseph Nyamu, Mathews Emukule and Roselyn Wendo that there was an hidden agenda about the cancellation and surrender of the passports belonging to the two businessmen who currently reside in India.
Kamani had been summoned twice to the KACC to record a statement. His brother has never been issued with summons to appear before any investigation officers. The lawyer argued that in the absence of notification to the effect that investigations were carried out against his clients, the Immigration Department and KACC had no authority to cancel the passports.
He told the court that the factual basis upon which the Principal Immigration Officer purported to cancel the petitioners’ travel documents was that investigation had been commenced. The lawyer wondered why KACC and the Immigration office have up to date not disclosed who the accusers against the brothers were.
The upshot of the cancellation of the passports, the lawyer said, is to make it impossible for the petitioners to travel back to the country to face their accusers if any, saying the travel documents are fundamental rights of the applicants.
The lawyer urged the court to find that the action of the respondents was illegal and unlawful. They further sought to have a ruling by a Kibera court quashed and the Principal Immigration Officer compelled to rescind his decision.