Sunday, March 10, 2013

Gyalpoizhing Case Verdict: Court’s Contrarian View

Mongar Dzongkhag Court Justice Gembo Dorji seems to be in no doubt that the Kaja of 1987 was a “provisional law then”. By definition, “provisional law” means a law that is temporary in nature - something that is promulgated in the interim, something that is, at best, conditional and that which is subject to change when a more permanent and binding law is enacted. Such a law or Act was passed in 1999 titled “The Bhutan Municipality Act of 1999” which came into effect as of 28th July, 1999.

The Kaja under reference is in the form of a letter of transmission dated 31st March, 1987 and signed by the Secretary to His Majesty the IVth Druk Gyalpo, Dasho Pema Wangchen conveying His Majesty’s Kaja.

The Hon’ble Mongar Drangpoen is explicit in his ruling that the two defendants have been pronounced guilty for the sole reason that they did not adhere to the Royal Kaja of 1987. He categorically states that had the defendants abided by the Kaja, he would have acquitted them of all charges. In other words, in the view of the learned Judge, rest of the charges is trivial and unworthy of consideration.

Given such a ruling by the Mongar Dzongkhag Court, the case now takes on a different hue.

The Judge’s statement to the Kuensel is clear that the court did not consider the ACC’s original charges which pertained to official misconduct, acts of favoritism, failing to exercise due diligence, of having broken laws and exceeded authority or that the defendants impinged on the Municipal Act of 1999 etc. According to the learned Judge, the case is all about NOT ABIDING by the Sovereign’s Kaja.

Such a verdict raises certain questions:

1Does the court find the ACC’s charges baseless and therefore unworthy of consideration for the reason for which the court pursued a different line of argument?

2Does a Kaja, which the Justice agrees is “provisional” in nature and conveyed during a time when an appropriate Act was not in place, still remain valid even after an Act dealing with the issue has been enacted?

3.  During the time of the Monarchy, a Dzongda was appointed under the direct command of His Majesty the King. Their appointments were a Royal prerogative. Traditionally the Dzongdas assumed the role of the Monarch’s Kutsap in the Dzongkhags. I cannot recall any precedence where the Executive or the Judiciary has acted against the King’s appointees - unless His Majesty willed it.

4.  Is a wrong precedence being set when the ACC and the Judiciary is attempting to bring charges against persons who are appointees of the Druk Gyalpo? Are these institutions overstepping their authority?

In my view, it should be the prerogative of the King to act as He sees fit in the matter. The ACC should frame their charges and compile their findings and the Judiciary should render their interpretation of the laws and make a joint submission to the King - but leave it to His Majesty to pronounce the verdict and command the appropriate action to be taken.


  1. Interesting as your post maybe it is factually incomplete and also misleading to some extent.
    Speaker was charged under NA-1 for forgery, fraud and deceptive practices based on forged documents handled by speaker. Speaker, Home Minister and Committee members were charged with official misconduct which is a criminal offence due to not following of allotment rules.

  2. Dear Anon,

    I am no less confused. And yet, the Hon'ble Judge is categorical and explicit in his pronouncement that had the defendants adhered to the Royal Kaja, he would have acquitted them all. Thus the charges, regardless of how grave or numerous they were, in the view of the learned Judge, they were not worthy of the court's consideration.

  3. Confusion confounded...

  4. Nothing to be confused! The whole Gyalposhing saga is politically motivated and timed in such a way to hurt DPT by OL and his gang of rascals spearheaded by Tenzing Lamsang. The ACC and the courts are just out to justify their existance at the expense of the nation and innocent individuals.

  5. Yes, that I figured...but the proclaimation by the's like he has thrown the principles of justice out the window...

  6. There will be thousand cases by other individuals if we go digging it. Will the country be able to live peacefully and yes it is politically motivated to find faults in DPT..when in fact they have done an excellent excellent job. We the citizens pray for a peace.