The sentencing of Sarbjit Singh Rai, Rakesh Kumar, and Stephen Kihumba, who are affiliated with Sarrai Group, has been postponed by the High Court in Nairobi. This decision comes after Justice Dorah Chepkwony recused herself from the Mumias Sugar lease case due to her recent transfer.

The three individuals were summoned to appear before Justice Alfred Mabeya, the presiding judge of the Commercial division, to provide justifications for their actions that led to accusations of contempt of court. Despite a court order to halt operations, they continued their activities at Mumias Sugar Company (MSC).

Justice Chepkwony, in a previous ruling, found the trio guilty of contempt and imposed a fine of Ksh100,000. However, since she had been transferred, she directed them to appear before Judge Mabeya for sentencing. As a result, Judge Mabeya rescheduled the sentencing to 15th June, before Justice Josephine Mongare.

Sarbjit Singh Rai, the proprietor of Sarrai Group based in Uganda, secured a controversial 20-year lease to operate Mumias Sugar Company. Judge Chepkwony's earlier ruling revealed that Sarrai Group defied the court's order to cease operations issued on 28th July, 2022.

Initially, the Uganda-based company had been granted the lease to run the ailing miller, but it was subsequently revoked. KCB Group, responsible for placing Mumias Sugar Company under administration, challenged the decision and obtained temporary orders in September of the previous year, allowing them to continue operations, with the support of Sarrai Group.

Justice Mabeya, in an April 14th, 2022 ruling, expressed concerns about accepting Sarrai Group's lowest bid of Ksh5.8 billion, fearing it would hinder the miller's financial recovery. He argued that this amount would be inadequate to settle the company's debts, compensate cane growers, or effectively resume operations.

"The receiver manager-cum-administrator exhibited a significant conflict of interest in awarding the lease to Sarrai Group," noted Justice Mabeya in his ruling. "The lease should have been granted to a financially capable company that could revive operations. It remains unclear why the highest bidders were disregarded."