ACC Director stabbed and Commissioner assaulted at SC

In a major security lapse at the Supreme Court, the former JDWNRH President and former Trongsa Dzongda, Lhab Dorji, stabbed the ACC Director of Investigation Gyeltshen and Lhab Dorji and his family members also assaulted the ACC Commissioner Jamtsho.

The incident happened around 3 pm on Friday just after the full bench of the Supreme Court upheld the verdict of the High Court in the Trongsa Land case. 

Lhab Dorji and his family members walked out of the court first and into the passage outside. Then the ACC team comprising of the ACC Director of Investigation Gyeltshen, ACC Commissioner Jamtsho and the ACC Chairperson Deki Pema bowed to the full bench and proceeded to move out.

As soon as Director Gyeltshen stepped out of the door into the passage he was set upon by Lhab Dorji and his family members who started assaulting him. The same happened to Commissioner Jamtsho who was following the Director out.

In the struggle Lhab Dorji who had a knife on him stabbed the Director on his hand and he started bleeding. The Director also had scratch marks on his eye lids made by somebody with long nails. The Director’s Kabney had also been torn.

Commissioner Jamtsho was also assaulted.

Then Lhab Dorji to cover his tracks threw the knife along with its cover into a nearby dustbin near the toilet in the passageway, but the police later recovered it. The police came and took away Lhab Dorji his wife and the whole immediate family to the police station.

The Director and the Commissioner were taken to the hospital.

This all happened as all the Justices of the Supreme Court were still inside the hall along with the ACC Chairperson who was also about to step out.

A Judge immediately contacted the Supreme Court Registrar General Sonam Gyeltshen who called the police.

The SC RG said that this is a major security lapse from the RBP. He said that earlier there had been some friction too after the High Court upheld the District Court verdict and convicted Lhab Dorji and his wife.

Based on that the Chief Justice issued an order on Wednesday to improve the security of the court and the RG met with the VVIP Police SP and OC on Thursday and had discussions with them. They in turned briefed the constables and told them to frisk people.

The RG said that on Friday afternoon he had told the constables at the gate to be careful as the final verdict is today, and he even remarked that they had a metal detector and that they should use it.

However, somehow Lhab Dorji could bring the knife with him through security on Friday.

The Chief of Police Major General Chimi Dorji said that this is a major lapse and he has assigned the Additional Chief of Police and two Deputy Chiefs of Police to do an enquiry in the matter against both the VVIP Police and the Thimphu Division and he said that actions will be taken based on this enquiry.

A case has been filed on the incident itself and the RBP are investigating the stabbing and assault case.

The RG said this is the first time that such an incident has happened at the Supreme Court.

The ACC Chairperson said that Gyeltshen’s condition was stable, but all of them at ACC had been shaken up by the incident.

She said, “It happened in the hallowed premises of the Supreme Court, at the door of the Court Room immediately after the judgment was pronounced, in the presence of many witnesses including court officials, media and the police official on duty. We have trust in the system and believe that appropriate action will be taken to uphold the rule of law.”

The verdict 

The Supreme Court upheld the high court verdict in the Trongsa land case which in turn upheld the Trongsa District Court verdict.

The former Trongsa Dzongda is convicted to 5 years’ imprisonment on four charges of forgery, three charges of official misconduct and execution of document by deception.

Karma Tshetim Dolma, the wife of the former Trongsa Dzongda, and the former Gup of Drakteng, Tenzin, are convicted to 6 years each. Karma was found guilty on three counts of solicitation, four counts of forgery, official misconduct and for an offence related to witness.

Likewise, Tenzin was found guilty on five counts of forgery, three counts of deceptive practice and for forging the thumbprint of the land seller and the witness.

Surveyor Narayan Dangal was convicted to one year and six months in prison for official misconduct and for aiding and abetting, and the only change here is he can pay Thrim-thue instead of serving the sentence.

The case

The former Dzongda, his wife and their collaborators were caught for a land scam and illegal acquisition of 4.76 acres of land at Thumgang or ‘View Point’ in Trongsa by Karma Tshetim Dolma facilitated by Lhab Dorji in his capacity as Trongsa Dzongda.

Karma Tshetim Dolma helped by Lhab Dorji created fake sale deeds to first show she bought 2.77 acres of non-existent plots from private landowners who had already got land compensation for the plots in Gelephu.

She then got 2.18 acres of land at government rates from a private landowner at the government rate under the guise of government land acquisition.

The Dzongda and his wife illegally acquired the lands to take opportunity of the fact that ILCS was being relocated from Semtokha, Thimphu to Drakteng Gewog in Trongsa.

In a blatant move the signatures, thumb impressions and even witnesses were forged to transfer the land from private landowners to the former Dzongda’s wife with the help of the Gup and others.

The end result was that Karma Tshetim with help from her husband could apply and get land substitution for the 2.77 acres while the 2.18 acres was not approved by the Agriculture Ministry.

With the help of her husband the Dzongda who also headed Land Acquisition Committee she got substitute land of 2.77 acres in a lucrative and well located area where the resort is now located.

Meanwhile, the ACC said that Lhab Dorji delayed the compensation payment and land substitution process by two years to allow his wife to complete her land transaction process.

The scam did not end there and involved creating a fictional plot on the site of the resort to increase the size of the resort area by 1.993 acres which including the 2.77 acres pushing its total size to 4.76 acres.

They then proceeded to build the Raven Resort worth Nu 168.37 million on the fraudulently acquired land.

The ACC investigated and submitted the case to the OAG under the former AG in 17 July 2015 but in 30 December 2016 the OAG declined to prosecute the case and dropped it and it had to be instead taken up by the ACC which prosecuted the case from February 2017.

The District Court convicted all the accused in 14 November 2019.

Check Also

98 from Australia and 79 from Middle East register for National Reintegration Program

71 are resigned civil servants The recent announcement by Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay in …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *