KELIN: Health Cabinet Secretary given Seven Days to file a Response to the Petition challenging the Unlawful Arrest and Detainment of TB Patients

Posted by Michaela on July 23, 2015

Nairobi, July 22: Constitutional and Human Rights Division Judge Justice Mumbi Ngugi has ordered that the Cabinet Secretary in Charge of the Ministry of Health, file a written response, to Petition 329 of 2014 within seven days. The court further directed that the Cabinet Secretary appears in person and gives oral evidence, if he does not file an affidavit by 28 July 2015. This was during the hearing of a case, which was filed on 13 August, 2010 challenging the arrest and detainment of TB Patients in a prison. Though the Attorney General filed grounds of opposition and written submissions in response to the petition, the court observed that the matter was of grave concern, and for the case to be satisfactorily addressed, the court needed a written response, in form of an affidavit, from the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Health.

The court allowed Allan Maleche & Belice Odamna, advocates for the Petitioners, to highlight their written submission that had been filed in court.  Some of the issues that the lawyers raised for the court to consider in making its decision were:

1.      Whether the confinement of the Petitioners, Mr. Daniel Nge’tich and Patrick Kipng’etich, in prison and of any other patients with infectious diseases for treatment is authorised under Section 27 of the Public Health Act.

2.      Whether the confinement of the Petitioners in prison was a violation of their rights under Articles 24(1), 25, 28, 29, 51(1), 47 (1) and 39 (1) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

3.      Whether the Court should compel the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Health to develop a policy on the involuntary confinement of individuals with TB, within three months, that is compliant with the Constitution of Kenya 2010, and the relevant international instruments.

The matter will be mentioned on 29 July, 2015 at 9am, to confirm whether the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Health will have filled his written response to the Petition as directed by the court.

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