The three-judge bench ruling on the Finance Act on Tuesday dismissed a case that had been filed against Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) boss Daniel Kiptoo for implementing the 16 per cent VAT on fuel after the court suspended the Finance Act in June.
While delivering her ruling, Justice Christine Meoli observed that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Kiptoo was officially informed that the Finance Act had been suspended before EPRA announced fuel prices for the month of July.
Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah, who wanted the EPRA DG found guilty of contempt, had told the court that he informed the EPRA boss of the suspension of the Finance Act via SMS.
In his defence, Kiptoo told the three-judge bench comprising Justices Meoli, David Majanja, and Lawrence Mugambi that he got wind of the court's decision to suspend the Finance Act after he had already released July pump prices.
"Despite the court orders being issued in the afternoon of June 30, it was not until close to midnight on July 1, that he alleged he was served with the order. By the time he released the press release, there was no way, he would have known about the order.
"We find Daniel Kiptoo (EPRA MD) not guilty of contempt. We hold that he did not have knowledge of the order by the time he issued the press release; further, the petitioners have not put forth any evidence that shows willful disobedience of the order," read the ruling in part.
In the July review, EPRA increased fuel prices by Ksh13 citing that the 16 per cent in the Finance Act had come into effect.
The prices were released minutes after 6 pm - hours after the Court had delivered its verdict on the suspension of the Act.
On the other hand, the three-judge bench also ruled that the Housing Levy implemented by the Kenya Kwanza administration was null and void.
According to the court, the 1.5 per cent deductions were discriminatory and against the principles of the 2010 Constitution.
"The Levy against persons in formal employment to the exclusion of other non-formal income earners without justification is discriminatory, irrational, arbitrary, and against the constitution," Majanja ruled.
A ruling will be issued on whether Kenyans can get a refund of the deductions at 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has called on the judges not to interfere with President William Ruto's development plan.
"I am aware that people have gone to court to try to suspend the housing levy and sabotage the housing program. Much as we respect the independence of the judiciary, I want to request our judges to not sabotage that programme," he stated.