ACC may soon appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court verdict

Meanwhile OAG files another case in the High Court challenging ACC’s right to prosecute the Gyelpozhing case

After the High Court verdict upheld the stay order against the suspension of the Speaker and the Home Minister the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) may soon approach the Supreme Court to appeal against the High Court verdict.

A reliable source said, “The ACC is planning to approach the Supreme Court to appeal against the High Court verdict in the next 10 days as the ACC is not satisfied with the High Court verdict.”

As per judicial procedure the ACC has 10 working days from the day of the High Court verdict on Friday 30th November which may be till Thursday 13th December, 2012.

The Chairperson of ACC, Dasho Neten Zangmo, said, “We respect the decision and wisdom of the honorable high court. However, the problem is not in the failure to review the laws concomitantly; the devil is in the interpretation of laws.”

Dasho said, “This Gyelpozhing case is a true test of the will of the leaders, of the institutions and the people to fight corruption which is central to a vibrant democracy.”

The ACC has little option but to appeal to the Supreme Court as the High Court verdict could have a far reaching impact on the ACC’s functioning in the future.

One key aspect of the verdict was that the ACC should inform the head of the agency before suspending anyone ‘to uphold the  principle of natural justice, protect public interests, eliminate substantial  risks to the functioning of  state machineries and burden occasioning from  such  suspension, assess the nature  or gravity  of  offences committed and  more fundamentally to  provide opportunity to make informed decision if  there was any contravening provision of laws that may provide personal and  Institutional immunities from such suspension order’.

A legal expert said, “The problem here for ACC would be if the head of the agency refuses to cooperate on any of the various grounds cited by the High Court.”

In an earlier interview ACC officials said that they had encountered cases in the past where heads of agencies had refused to suspend high officials or even delayed suspensions.

ACC has so far maintained that the information to the head of the agency was for disciplinary action and not suspension.

Another key aspect is that High Court said that the Home Minister and Speaker cannot be suspended under the ACC Act 2011 as the two were being charged under earlier laws.

The ACC had earlier maintained that it was not issuing substantive charges or penalties under the ACC Act to the two but the suspension was a normal administrative process.

The High Court verdict pointed out that under section 11 (5) of the Speaker Act, 2004 removal from the office of the Speaker would be possible, only if the Speaker is convicted of a crime or treason. Therefore the speaker could not be suspended as his suspension would be equivalent to his removal.

A legal expert said, “The ACC in the Supreme Court will have to prove that the suspension of the Speaker for a brief while does not translate to his removal as these are legally two different actions.”

While ACC is planning its Supreme Court move the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) filed another case in court against the ACC saying that ACC has no legal right to prosecute the Gyelpozhing case which is scheduled for hearing in the Mongar Dzongkhag next week.

In its arguments so far the OAG has quoted the Constitution saying that only OAG is authorized to prosecute people. The OAG using the High Court verdicts argument on the ACC Act being retroactive has said that since the people are not being prosecuted under the ACC Act the ACC cannot prosecute the case. The OAG has also alleged that the ACC has encroached on the authority of the OAG to prosecute the case.

Dasho Neten Zangmo said, “The reason why we took the case was because the prosecutor had said there is no legal case and so then the prosecution was incumbent on us as the investigation agency.”

She said, “the concern should be what happens to the case rather than who prosecutes it.”

Dasho said that the legality of ACC prosecuting the case being raised by concerned parties was expected.

“We are happy that the Gyelpozhing case is throwing up important questions and issues which need to be answered and the right precedence has to be set for a strong and vibrant democracy,” said Dasho Neten.

In an earlier interview the OAG had clarified that it took up the suspension case of the Home Minister and the Speaker against the ACC based on a cabinet letter that asked the OAG to look at the legality of ACC’s actions in the Gyelpozhing case and take necessary legal action.

The latest case by the OAG against the ACC is a continuation of the first case which it won in the High Court.

Earlier the ACC had expressed dissatisfaction with how the OAG had handled the Gyelpozhing case and dismissed all charges against the accused in the ACC Gyelpozhing report.

Dasho Neten in an earlier interview said, “The OAG should not have given out investigation details because it undermines and pre-empts subsequent action. Releasing the investigation details was inappropriate.”

She had also said, “We have written to them (OAG) as they are questioning the very objectives of the investigation which means they have questioned our integrity. They are questioning ACC’s intentions and it has undermined our integrity.”

 

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43 comments

  1. Yes, the intent of OAG is highly questionable here. Why should OAG files to High Court because last time i understand they had to defend of Institution of National Assembly and Speaker due to ACC’s suspension order.

    Now is matter of individuals. Let two men’s lawyers argue the legality of ACC’s prosecution. High Court didn’t ask for OAG’s opinion. Please submit your opinion when asked..

    Meanwhile ACC can decide and argue for themselves as mandate without OAG. Just because OAG has authority to withdraw case doesn’t mean that ACC can’t proceed. For-seeing OAG’s probable nexus with leaders, the ACC was vested with power to prosecute themselves…..

    It is better for AG to guard the credibility institution rather than guarding the names of few people.

    • Sangay Kuenden Drukpa

      Defox….now you are on the track.

      • I still think legally we can’t convict those involved like JYT and Yeshi Zimba. I also don’t think court can imprison Speaker and Home Minister. All we can do is shout.

        However, since the issue if Institution is cleared and High Court said OAG can’t represent two individuals, it is time OAG stops indirectly defending those two through so called legal opinion.
        If competent Court asked for opinion, then OAG should. If not, just leave it alone………

    • Defox,
      I appreciate your comment.

      • it is shamefull on JYT for calling OPPOSITION LEADER NGOLOP, NOW real ngolop is JYT, AND DPT. and AOG. nothing is greater than this. now we know you all thanks god

  2. OAG seems to be a puppet to the ruling government. We expect you to fight against corruption and not favoring corrupt peoples. If you really feel ACC is wrong then why not dissolve ACC in first place. Now I understand what Dasho Neten said, that the co-operation of stake holders is must.

  3. Chief Justice is also involved in Gyelposhing indirectly. We don’t expect positive signal form there also. Dasho, Aum Neten will be a ball and cannot land any where.
    Those people will not serve but damage the country in the name of Tsa-wa-sum

    Good luck to all Bhutanese

    • One day Dasho Neten will succeed because she is fighting for the just cause. The currupted people led by JYT may gain in the short run. In the long run these people will be losers. If the current system does not work, we can change it. I have lost faith in the government and the judiciary, but I have faith in our people. One day we have to show PEOPLE”S POWER.

  4. Since the Home Minister is the step-son-in-law of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the CJ may not preside over the case to avoid conflict of interest (Code of Conduct Section 111, Judicial Service Act, 2007).

    We expect some judges to give dissenting opinions.

  5. “Another key aspect is that High Court said that the Home Minister and Speaker cannot be suspended under the ACC Act 2011 as the two were being charged under earlier laws.”

    what does this mean?/?? someone plz enlighten me 

    • Initially I thought that there is common ACT which will be applicable to all Bhutanese. But in this case,applying jurisdiction of their own ACT defending each other. This means ACC cannot prosecute corrupted people from other agencies. Because, MPs r guided by NA act, ECB is guided by ECB act, civil servant r guided by RCSE act etc. Finally it looked like My act, your act, her act etc. What is this?
      And this OAG is defending THEIR ACT and am confused with these multiple acts.

  6. No wonder AG was never a bright student from school days. Maybe he got the post of AG by licking his masters boots.

  7. I hope every thing happens as bhutannomics.com if there is rule of law in our country ….. 

    • This is what happens in a young democracy,the Govt. of the day enjoys the Veto power.They have the power.They can bend,twist and nullify the corrupted case because we have seen how HC has interpreted the very corrupted case. HC is absolutely wrong in supporting the involved ones. They stated law enforced is before and after. Even if it a decade ago,guilty is guilty not free. It is shame on our part to make the corrupted people run the post.Speaker and Home minister might have instigated OG to nullify the case that will convene next week.WHY? the reason is obvious they are 100% guilty.We will see how long will it last.We common can do nothing but pray God to Punish culprit.”GOD sees the truth but waits”.

  8. OAG is useless organization. Day by day, I am losing faith in OAG. Remove all those in OAG. I think they should know that the public is not at their side.

  9. Last suggestion: ACC to suspend OAG people from their office as soon as possible for questioning the integrity of ACC’s investigation and saying no legal basis for the case to prosecute the corrupts. From the ACC’s clauses of upholding the natural justice, protect public interest and risk of distorting the facts, OAG should be immediately suspended.

  10. So sad to see OAG favoring the corrupted people. I think its time for people of Bhutan to appeal to His Majesty and get his guidance as OAG is overacting on Gyalposhing case. Even if ACC appeal to Supreme Court, who know what will happen. And What about if the verdict is same. Any way I feel OAG should not get involved or high time remove Phuntsho Wangdi

  11. High time to provide security for Dasho Naten as she may be targeted. Bhutan cannot afford to loose people like her

    • The common man

      correct………. so true… with evil minds like speaker N WITH DANGEROUS  minds like JYT.

    • It’s extremely disheartening,our tiny kingdom will not realize the vision of our beloved monarch in creating our country “Zero tolerance to corruption” as the Govt.of the day is GHOST in disguise.They say one thing and does another. We didn’t realize them in 2008 while casting our votes.We regret a lot.Another GHOST OG is defending his family not to pursue case at Mongar that why now he is asking the legality of ACC. Fool,your vision is’ zero’ although you act smart in front of present Govt. One day you may come back to common people that will be the most regrettable time in your life.You may curse yourself. What makes you to question ACC. Are they not corrupt instead you are trying to defend them. You mean to say there shouldn’t be case against them. Hell,Bhutan is ruined because of educating person like you. You are letting the criminal go free, which itself shows no integrity in your profession.

    • Its so funny, dusty, hasty, tasty, and no where. Now everybody is confused, OAG, ACC, HC and could be even SC and all. No wonder for this. Only that its a lesson to all. Given time for all bhutanese to learn, contemplate, analyze, and digest. In conclusion, Cheche is right. None of organization is wrong or right. Everyone has thier own say backed by thier acts endorsed by NA. It will be a good history and for those wanting to study in depth will have to join in politics to understand deeper and make ammendments or dissolve themselves in oceans.

  12. Yes, I agree with Karma. Considering the confrontation going between OAG and ACC, there is high possibility that something might happen to Aum Dasho Neten who is fighting for the truth since many powerful people involved on this corruption. However, we the people of Bhutan will pray for wellness of Aum Dasho Neten  and truth always prevail though difficulty.

  13. Tashi Dhendup

    Really confused and irritated with the OAG office. What are they trying to prove by standing behind the corrupted people. We all know that case and the background, and we are definite that ACC will succeed in uprooting all the corrupted evils. We respect the integrity of ACC and particularly of Dasho Aum Neten. She is one person who is 100 % fair and transparent in Bhutan, and how has no fear except to god. We all wish ACC the best. OAG should better know their place rather than poking their pose uselessly.

  14. Hi Guys,
    I have few thoughts here:
    1. First let us see ACC putting the case to SC.( I know it will be same)
    2. Let the people of Bhutan come to HM for the guidance and expression of dis satisfaction of OAG acts.
    3. Let people be informed whom to vote in next election.
    4………..?????

  15. I am afraid that this is govt is using the office of the AG to hide themselves from the case. If they have not done anything wrong, then why should they try all this funny drama. I am actually enjoying the fun of this. At the same time am equally concerned that this govt is not true to its promise of zero tolerance to corruption. They are setting a bad precedent and this may lead to anarchy and destabilize our democracy.
    I urge all right thinking citizen and lover of democracy to seriously think which party to choose as our next govt.

  16. now people of bhutan should coperate, if ACC and harrased by the corrupted AOG.than i dont mind of taking gun to shoot all the people working in the AOG. so my request to other worker in AOG other than judge plezz be care full, coz i dont want to shoot on you. i will shoot and stop that corruption in the history of bhutan, and dont mind of geting in prision forever. dat is true mai

    • The common man

      Nice one… though i denounce violence personally… hahaha….at least our leaders might get a signal…

  17. If I was given authority, then i would *##*** the Attorney General, I give him a open challenge that, i am better then him in many ways. These **##!!** AG is useless and hopeless we have ever seen.

  18. It is sad to feel the frustrations of many fellow Bhutanese in this forum. I join with you all too in defending the work of ACC, especially Aum Neten who has been boldly fighting this case for the sake of our country. We the average citizen of this country will support over head and heels to take this case not only to the Supreme Court but beyond SC. I am sure our Fifth King will have the ultimate wisdom that the lower justices system failed to see it because everyone knows that Gyelpozhing is a blatant case of corruption where the very leaders that were entrusted to follow Kashos has simply disregarded for personal benefits and favors. This cannot be right through any angles of justice system. OAG only proved to be a failing institution though it has been entrusted with equal or more powerful role than ACC by our constitution. Because of a puppet leadership.

  19. OAG – Office to Avert Guilt?

  20. High Court has turned down the OAG ‘s challenge that ACC can’t prosecute what they investigated. What is next step? To appeal to Supreme Court?

    I will leave it alone. Much as i am supporter of DPT, I wouldn’t want law to be twisted and turn because OAG is asked by cabinet.

    In any respectable democratic setting, it would moral responsible on part of accuse to resign until name is cleared. DPT can always find replacement to Speaker and Home Minister. For stance, Yangku Tshering Sherpa is doing a great job of being speaker….

    • I am happy that OAG’s case has been dismissed. Such a shame on OAG. I think OAG is being overly smart. It will have its own fall one day. I don’t believe in their legal experts.

  21. The common man

    Home minister … i thought is the son-in-law of the Chief justice of supreme court… so there is a conflict of interest.
    The so called chief justice should come in front of media and say he is incapable of taking and presiding over this case due to conflict of interest or else it ‘ll send a very very negative signal to already irritated and frustrated public.
    Not only that there is involvement of his name in the case.
    So due to both the reasons he should be out of this case in case ACC really files up the case in supreme court.
    But i doubt that would happen our leaders are too greedy & too self centric…I doubt chief justice will come clean…

  22. Lousy OAG what do you feel when your case is being dismissed by High Court. What is your next plan? Go and seek advice from your big boss JYT. He will tell you what to do. If not why don’t you commit suicide at least for the sake of country. So that ACC will have no barrier to further take action.

  23. Santabir Gurung

    CONGRATS to AUM NETEN and her team for pursuing the case so boldly. Please keep it up. We are with you.
    Another very important dimension of this case – we are given to understand that the Gyalposhing land transactions were done in violation of the standing Royal KASHO of the Druk Gyalpo. Is this true? Is the OAG and the Govt. knowingly and willfully trying to cover this up. The perpetrators should not be spared at any cost but given the harshest punishment of chopping their nose off. If the OAG and the Govt. is knowingly and willfully trying to cover this up, then the officials concerned should also be given the same punishment. Violation of the Royal KASHO! It’s untolerable!!

  24. But Neten zangmo is at wrong side this time.And this paper sucks even more..

  25. Dear fellow country man. I do understand the frustration of all my colleagues due to the bais stand of the so call OAG influenced by AG the restic man. As pointed out by a fellowman i do not support violence but as frustration grows on this guys function in jeopardising the institution of OAG. some one may sacrifice his life inorder to gundown this birds of same feather for the good cause of the country. Let us not resort to such act but uphold the law by supporting the ACC and orgainse a demonstration against this case. To me i also see not different verdic from Suprem court as the case is in the interest of the CJ of the SC. 1stly Chief Justice he himself is involved in this case and Home minister is also his son-in-law. More over he is the man behind in bending laws of this country. See this case will not be swept under the carpet forever. One day with the change of people in the different organisation and having different government things will change.

  26. I am content with the fair verdict passed by HC this time because guilty is guilty. Hope OAG will now seek another advice from the dictator JYT. He will instruct to dissolve the case as far as possible by fooling the common and he moves out of capital in remote to gain innocent people’s confidence by lubricating them . His presence is not available for comments.WHY? He is clever enough that his Govt. should be free of negatives.If he happens to be there “Media ” might question his views.Can’t he solve rupee crunch and its high time to raise Civil servants salary as we have seen the skyrocketing inflation.Can’t he function in absence of corrupted Speaker and Corrupted Home minister? May be he is doubtful that he might also get involve if the case is continued at Mongar court that’s why he is throwing numerous “KASHOS” to OG to dissolve the ongoing case. CHEERS TO ACC !

  27. I think OAG is setting a bad precedent. How can it give its own interpretations of the laws. What the hell are their legal experts doing there? May be they want to make mockery of themselves. I don’t know any of the legal experts there, but if I come to know, I can’t resist of getting violent against them. They should be, firstly, responsible to prosecute these three individuals, and if they were not capable, they should at least allow others to do it. ACC is fighting this case for the sake of each and every Bhutanese now and the future generations. ACC we are all there to support you in all ways we can.

  28. Aum Neten should form a political party if ACC loses the infamous Gyelpoishing case. Long Live Aum Neten & ACC.

  29. one solution for vibrant democracy is to get rid of all those self – centered, egocentric, obsolete ministries by 2013. Criminal charges against these two thugs, still wandering around proudly. Different laws for different level of people, thus BHUTAN is unique.

  30. Quote: “The Chairperson of ACC, Dasho Neten Zangmo, said, the devil is in the interpretation of laws.”

    I can understand this outburst of her rage at the DEVILs! This battle is very important because DNZ has still some greater tasks at hand. She has to still unearth some deadly DEVILs hidden elsewhere who are a nuisance and slowly eating into the main fiber of the Bhutanese society! Judiciary has been badly contaminated, but, the monster’s greater presence is in the Civil Service. This evil spirit has entered almost every part of the hearts and souls of the Bhutanese Civil Service’s genetic system. Therefore, the devil rule today’s civil servants.

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