ACC Investigation: Gyelpozhing land grab did happen

The Anti Corruption Commission, investigation into the Gyelpozhing land grab, has found, that most of the facts in the initial media reports on Gyelpozhing are true.

The Bhutanese talked to a few affected people in Gyelpozhing who lost land and plots to influential people. On the condition of anonymity, they said that in their discussions with ACC they had presented their facts to ACC on the illegitimate distribution of plots in Gyelpozhing.

“For us it was very clear, and we told ACC that out of the three stage allotment process only one was carried out, and that too in a controversial manner. In the second and third stage land was given directly to influential people who were not eligible,” said a Gyelpozhing local who did not want to be named for fear of reprisal.

The Investigation agency also has a cache of documents with relation to the case.

The ACC Investigation has found that in Gyelpozhing the 1980 Royal Kasho on land, whereby only the His Majesty the King can allot land has been violated.

The ACC investigation has also confirmed that the 1979 Land Act has been violated in Gyelpozhing.

The ACC investigation has also found that the allotment committee did not follow proper procedures.

Reliable sources say that the ACC investigations also confirmed that the Dzongkhag committee and the then Mongar Dzongda Jigme Tshultim had ignored repeated letters and warnings to not allot or register land in Gyelpozhing.

It has also been found that the plot allotted across the river to the Prime Minister, Lyonpo Zimba, Lyonpo Leki, His Holiness Je Khenpo and five members of the royal family was originally government land.

The government’s defense, at one point, was that the 1991 circular of the late, Dasho Dorji Tenzin, of the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement was followed. Investigations show that this was not done so and in fact it was violated.

With most of the charges coming true the people involved in the Gyelpozhing land grab, depending on the level of involvement, will be looking at a host of charges. These are like corrupt practices, abuse of power, administrative misconduct, violation of Land Act 1979 and violation of the Royal Kasho.

For example; corrupt practices could be established, if it is found that committee members broke laws to award themselves or their family plots of land.

The 2011 Anti Corruption Act has additional clauses like ‘Conflict of Interest’ under section 63 and ‘Abuse of Privileged Information’ under section 65 but it is not clear if these clauses can be applied on earlier cases.

The ACC has recently finished with their interviews which include ministers, Drangpons, private citizens, and senior civil servants who had all received the controversial plots.

Reliable sources say that ACC has also questioned members of the Dzongkhag committee that allotted the controversial plots in the first case.

Local people in Gyelpozhing that The Bhutanese talked to said that the ACC also talked to the affected parties who had lost land like in the case of Drepong Village or those that had not been given plots like local businessmen.

When asked about the cooperation rendered in interviews the ACC Chairperson Dasho Neten Zangmo said, “They are being cooperative”.

Earlier the ACC had indicated to the media that investigation would soon be over but the investigation is taking longer than expected.

“We are trying to finalize the report as soon as possible. The scope of the case is bigger than expected,” said Dasho Neten Zangmo.

 

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25 comments

  1. Some of the Influential and privileged people are playing with the very superior laws and rules of the kingdom. They must be taught the lesson and shown an example to all the people so that such embarrassing actions are not repeated in the future. ACC, please lead by your mission/ vision and ethos. No one here deserves the royal pardon, such action will make the mockery of the law. 

  2. Dhendup Tshering

    Laws should to be applicable to every works of life, I strongly believe in ACC and I hope after the verdict is been passed guilty will be punished despite any back round they come from. I hope ACC will not let us down!

  3. How come HH Je Khenpo was also involved in receving the Government Land. What will he do with that land. Now somthing is happening is this peaceful country.One day Rich and Powerfuls head will be the targets for the poor and affected peoples other than that ther is no options left as law cant control those peoples like Jigme Tsheltrim

  4. is very said to see that even his holiness the je khenpo is invloved in such covetous deeds. the head of the religious body should be sagged immediatly. he has committed a crime which cannot be excused. voilated the very principal of teaching of buddha dhrama. can we kept such person as head of our religous institutation, no moral alys romming on tour making money by deceiving the innocent public, preaching and not practicing himself, enjoing whole the year round without performing his duty. can he be called as his holliness .. he should be called as his hopeless.

  5. Any wrong act by any individual or institution will reap bad results. One wrong act can cause a damage of a lifetime. So I hope our men are wise. 

  6. lets hope this report which is being prepared by ACC sees the light.

  7. Of course with dasho Aum Neten being ACC’s  head, we have high hope.. that this report will see light.
    As a commoner I salute dasho for her sincerity and dedication. thank you.

  8. This is the time to show zero tolerance to corruption. Lets see and wait the out come of the case. I pray that the affected people will be benefited. This is my humble pray and wish ACC will bring the justice and clear way for corruption.

  9. Hats off for the work done by ACC and of course lead by Dasho Aum Neten. In good governance, ZERO tolerance for the corruption. As a commoner, I just wanted to see how those big fishes are made into curry because even if they are caught aslo, they can escape through the small net holes?????????? Thats what happened for some culprit in the past.

  10. Those involved should not be allowed to continue holding the posts as they can easily influence the investigation and court proceedings… what do others say?

  11. Glorified Clerk

    I hope the ACC report after it is completed will be published in the media so that all Bhutanese people know what had happened exactly.

  12. all de post regarding the courption by the senior religious leader including the je khenpo n lopen ngaps are proving rite. The government/dratshang lhentshog should act immediately to do the needful n take action accordingly before such person ruin our phapei gauden dratshang. Their presence in the dratshang is very dangerous.

  13. good work acc keep it up

  14. a big hand of applauds for the investigation team and i would pray the single misdeed and the one who did it doesn’t get escaped from the interrogation, whoever he/she might be. let the case shed light on the unsympathetic souls of our country.

  15. Sherub Membar

    Well I have no doubt that ACC under the leadership of Dasho Naten Zangmo will leave no stone unturned to bring those shameless people to justice, we should also not forget that its ultimately the OAG which fights the case , and the Royal Court of Justice which can deliver the judgement or punish the culprits. I hope our judiciary would be bold enough to handle the case without any bias. 

  16. Hats off to Tenzin Lamsang for uncovering such land grab case…

  17. Congratulations ACC. thats only the real guts i have seen. i wish every investigation goes well…… 

  18. If aum Neten isn’t joining politics, less chance of the case being solved is palpable. It will be a blunder if the case is prolonged till next election. DPT has been a moker of the law, whe world is spherical and what goes ahead comes from behind. All acussed deserve life imprisonment after all their property the own is forfieted.

  19. If you want butter, Keep on churning (stirring), it will come on the surface. This is for the second time I am hearing about the
    land issues involving the PM himself.

    • it’s bad enough when the PM is grabbing land, but 10 times worse when he is defending his action! Looks like he’s ready to fight tooth and nail to keep his ill-gotten property.

  20. Jekhenpo? Are you sure?

  21. 1. PM set the examples, our respects to him , he has not used his position as PM to decline investigation from the ACC. In true sense, lets be honest, he walk the talk and he is walking the talking, GRREAT.

    2. The scenario seems to be indicating that given the choice and if mechansims are not in place, those in power and wealth will collude and collaborate for their selfish gain…how will the common people propser in this Happiness-based country. Thanks to ACC for their objective investigation wihtout fear and favour….it sends a strong message that one will not be spared if one continues to be selfish and greedy………

  22. I dont know what GNH we are talking about and PM is talking about happiness in NY… The lips and greed doesnot go together.

  23. Zero tolerance to corruption… I think that’s motto of this government. Right? and if i’m not wrong This very PM warned the civil servants that he wouldn’t spare anyone if found guilty or corrupt.
    Now at this juncture I sometimes wonder what he must be thinking, as he himself is being questioned for a case of abuse of power and possibly collusion with people of power. 
    ” Silence should not be taken as sign of weakness” 

  24. The Gyelpozhing land case is going to be very embarrassing for the whole country as it involves many high profile people as below:

    1. Royal family members.
    2. The Je Khenpo.
    3. The Prime Minister.
    4. The Speaker.
    5. The Chief Justice.
    6. Dasho Wangchen.
    7. A few serving ministers like Wangdi Norbu and Yeshi Zimba.
    8. MD of Druk Green Power Corporation.
    9. Amd many other influential big shots.

    Now we will be kidding ourselves big time, if we are to believe that the above people are going to be prosecuted in a court of law, so the sane thing would be to do is to request them to return the land allotted to them to the RGOB and the same should be allotted to the right ful owners of Depong village and the business community that we ignored earlier.

    The one person who should not be spared is the Speaker who was the Dzongda then, ultimately responsible for shamelessly bullying the local people and giving away free land to the rich and powerful in Thimphu.

    In fact, maybe HM should revoke his red scarf too.

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