Kadhi’s Court Can’t Give Rulings On Child Custody Cases, Says High Court

Kadhi’s Court Can’t Give Rulings On Child Custody Cases, Says High Court

The High Courty on Thursday made a ruling that the Kadhis Court can’t adjudicate child custody cases. Justice Kariuki in his ruling noted that Section 30 of the Children Act 2001 establishes the National Council for Children’s Services and its composition under section 31 includes a representative of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslim.“This leads to a conclusion that the Children Act 2001 relates to all children irrespective of their religious affiliations and or cultural background,” said Justice Kariuki.

The man identified as ABMM according to court documents had been ordered by the kadhi’s court to pay Kshs. 4,000 monthly upkeep for his children as well as their medical and educational expenses. ABMM in his argument told Garissa High Court Judge Charles Kariuki that Kadhis courts are limited to determine questions of Muslim law relating to divorce, marriage, personal status or inheritance in proceedings in which all the parties profess the Muslim religion.

The Judge noted that Kadhi’s courts had jurisdiction, for as long as ABMM does not submit to the jurisdiction of the court as stipulated in Article 170 (5) of the Constitution and section 5 of the Kadhis’ Courts Act, the court has no power to compel him to appear before it. The ruling is expected to create mixed reactions in the coming weeks especially from the Muslim community.

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