State goes to Supreme Court to challenge High Court on RB’s immunity

THE State has appealed against the High Court’s decision to allow former President Rupiah Banda to start judicial review of Parliament’s decision to remove his legal immunity.
State advocate in the Attorney General’s chambers Comfort Mulenga told High Court judge Annie Sitali when the matter came up for inter parte hearing yesterday that the State has filed a notice of appeal against her decision.
On April 12, Mrs Justice Sitali gave Mr Banda permission to commence judicial review but refused to stop his criminal proceedings.
Mr Banda wants the court to nullify Parliament’s decision to lift his immunity.
“We did file a notice of appeal in this court on April 18, 2013. We are mindful that this notice of appeal is not a stay of the proceedings of the matter before this court.
“We therefore seek the indulgence of the court to grant us time in which to file the appropriate documents to stay the current proceedings, pending determination of the appeal in the Supreme Court,” Ms Mulenga said.
And one of Mr Banda’s lawyers, Abyudi Shonga, said the former President’s legal team was ready to proceed with the matter yesterday but they had received a notice of appeal against the judge’s decision to grant Mr Banda permission to start judicial review.
“We are not privy to the provisions that an appeal can operate as a stay but given the fact that the appeal may affect whatever proceedings going on here, we are reluctant to proceed given the existence of the appeal,” Mr Shonga said.
Another lawyer representing Mr Banda, Eric Silwamba, said the former head of State’s lawyers have no objection to the application to adjourn the matter.
“We can consider a consent order for an application to adjourn to be granted pending the application for the stay of the proceedings by the respondents [State],” Mr Silwamba said.

Daily Mail