The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) today missed its last day deadline of 10 days to file an appeal against the District Court verdict in the DPT vs Dasho Benji defamation case. The case verdict on 5th January not only allowed DPT to withdraw its defamation case and awarded Nu 450,000 in compensation to Dasho Benji but it also saw an order to investigate the prima facie sedition case charges against DPT.
The DPT had time between 8 am and 9.30 am today morning to register its appeal in the Registry section of the District Court. The Registry closes its files to registering new cases or appeals to high courts after 9 am. The District Court then does miscellaneous hearings of the appeal or new cases at around 11.30 am.
After that the Registry forwards the appeal to the District Court bench five that gave the verdict and then the bench forwards the appeal to the High Court.
Both the Registry and Bench 5 officials confirmed as of 2.30 pm that they did not receive any appeal from DPT. The High Court Registry also confirmed that they did not receive any appeal from DPT.
According to sources the party instead conducted an all party meeting of its MPs in its party office in Thimphu on Thursday to discuss the issue and way forward.
DPT’s non filing of an appeal will also mean that the OAG will automatically have to start coordinating the sedition investigation against DPT for its 19th July 2013 meeting as directed by the District Court in its verdict.
Despite efforts DPT declined to comment on their next steps on the issue.