The Tax Appeals Tribunal has barred a former officer of the Kenya Revenue Authority from representing the adverse party in a matter involving a decision made by the officer.
Mr Patrick Chege, having intimate knowledge about the matter while in the employment of the Authority participated in making an objection decision in the tax case of ICEA Lion Life Assurance Company vs Commissioner of Domestic Taxes.
In a ruling delivered on 16th July 2021, the Tribunal heard that Mr. Patrick Chege was previously a senior employee of KRA before leaving the position. While in the employment of the Authority, he made an objection decision on behalf of the Commissioner, the subject of the current appeal at the Tribunal by Icea Lion Life Assurance Company that he sought to represent in the proceedings.
In a clear message of disapproval of representation of a client by a person with conflict of interest in legal proceedings, the Tribunal, relying on well- settled doctrines observed that one of the basic principles of natural justice is that no person can be a judge in a case in which they have an interest.
Having made the objection decision for the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes, Mr. Chege could not represent the company against the Commissioner over the same decision. In any case, the Tribunal added, justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done.