End of the Political line for the Home Minister and the Speaker?

The Anti Corruption Commission filing criminal charges against the current Speaker Jigme Tshultim and the Home Minister Minjur Dorji over the Gyelpozhing land case could bring an early end for their political prospects in 2013.

This is because under the current Election Act a candidate who has a registered and ongoing criminal case against him cannot compete in politics.

A senior Election Commission official on the condition of anonymity said, “As of now looking at the current case the two of them (Home Minister and Speaker) will be unable to contest in the 2013 elections.”

Section 179 (g) of the Election Act says, ‘a person shall be disqualified as a candidate or a member holding an elective office under the Constitution, if he/she: has been accused of felony in a pending case and the competent Court has taken cognizance and charges have been framed against him/her.’

The election official told this paper that ‘taking cognizance’ means if the judge has accepted the case which has happened with the Mongar District Court judge accepting the criminal case and the ACC has filed the criminal charges against the Speaker and the Home Minister.

Another avenue for the disqualification for both the potential candidates is if they are found to be guilty and convicted in the criminal case.

Here Section 179 (a) is applicable which says disqualifies candidates who ‘have been convicted for any criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment.’

The Election Officer explained that as per the Election Act all candidates as part of their registration process would have to bring in an affidavit from the courts saying that the candidate has not been criminally convicted or does not have an ongoing criminal case.

“In the case of the Speaker and Home Minister no such affidavit can be made available under the present circumstances,” said the Election Officer.

However, there is a ray of hope for the two candidates especially given the legal twists and turns on the Gyelpozhing so far. If both candidates are declared innocent before the registration date then they can take part in the 2013 elections.

Earlier the Speaker had already announced his resignation from the DPT party for the 2013 elections. However, even of late there is an attempt ‘to change his mind’ by his supporters and also DPT party members. The Speaker so far has also not stated that if he does leave DPT, if he would consider joining any other party for the 2103 race.

The Speaker is considered to be a strong candidate from his constituency of Radhi-Sakteng.

Lyonpo Minjur Dorji is the candidate from the Kanglung constituency in Trashigang and is also considered a popular candidate from there.

The loss of the two candidates is not expected to cause any major dent to DPT and may in fact come as a relief to DPT as the ACC took a more liberal view of the Thrimzhung Chhenmo and decided not to book the then senior ministers who took plots under criminal charges.  Other ministers like Lyonchhen Jigme Y. Thinley and Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba only face civil charges against them so far.

Of the two the ACC Charges against the Speaker as the former Chairman of the Gyelpozhing Plot Allotment Committee is more stringent and comes under NA1-2 of the Thrimzhung Chhenmo for forgery and deceptive practices. The sentencing can range anywhere from three months to six years.

The charge against the Home Minister as the Chairman of the Mongar Municipal Committee is lighter as official misconduct under section 294 of the 2004 Penal Code. This comes under misdemeanor which ordinarily is let off with a fine.

One of the key elements will be the speed of the trail. Mongar District Court Judge Gyembo Dorji said, “The speed of the train will depend entirely on the litigants. If they decide to fight, the case will take longer and if they decide to accept the charges then it can be finished early in a week or two.”

 

 

 

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30 comments

  1. If Court clears those from criminal charges, will this paper and OL takes morsal responsibility to step down and close the paper for defaming and mudslinging in every issues.

    • Only time will tell sir…..

    • ProudBhutanese

      I do not see any reason for the OL and the paper to shutdown for publishing the truth. I think Defox has a problem understanding what moral responsibility means. As long as you are telling/reporting the truth, you do not have any reason to be ashamed of anything.

    • Greedy and egoistic people like Defox will be happy if Bhutan becomes like North Korea and many corrupted African countries. 

    • this paper nor OL had defamed those people…………why dnt bhutanese people face slight criticism ….u go mad n wild when criticised…..where is your bud dist value of tolerance ………this issue was also raised in kuensel,AAC website…so that meaqns all those who speech against corruption should step dwn……..bullshit……..

  2. I think thats why DPT has a very good candidate from Lyonpo Minjur’s constituency which even DNT is vying for.. No problems for DPT. Honble Speaker has anyways resigned.

  3. Minjur Dorjee is now rightly charged criminally in court. But the chief Justice is also implicated in this infamous land grab scam by the powerful. Minjur Dorjee’s wife’s mother is married to the chief Justice. With so much conflict of interest, it will be very challenging.
    And ACC could have come up with much stronger charges against all accused if they want to deter repetition of such corrupt practices.

  4. Why does OL and the Bhutanes take moral responsibility? ACC does not belong to them and it is the case of ACC, which is an independent constitutional body.

    • Don’t worry theBhutanese and OL do not know what is mean by moral responsibility let alone taking it. The theBhutanese already came up with an article titlde “Legal and ethical issue ……” thereby trying to indirectly influence the courts’ decisions and interpretation of laws. We won’t be surprised when this paper starts writing flaws about our judiciary system. 

  5. They should go behind bars. They are the real thugs

  6. This paper really is excited about some members of DPT being prosecuted in the courts. And they call it as telling the truth while they all do is preempt decisions purely on speculations. In doing so, this paper thinks it can influence and have impact on the decisions of the courts. I will not hesitate any more to raise one of my fingers to people who write such vindictive articles.

  7. Hey theBhutanese ..What is Civil Charges? Not heard till date. Heard of Criminal charge but civil charges is completely new terminology in my life.

    Secondly, how can u consider Official misconduct as lighter charge? you think forgery under Thrimzhung chenmo as heavier charge? Its just 3 months to six years and speaker would most probably get 3 months..which is compoundable..where as minimum for official misconduct is 1 year.. So so…

    • hey DCT….had you ever seen or heard of CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE…so better go to law library at motithang n try to refer atleast………its new terminology for person like you………

  8. I think this Gyelposhing case has now gone beyond the boundaries of political parties. Mongar court has accepted the case filed by the ACC and is now under legal injunction. It has become now the state versus the people charged. DPT or PDP have no more part to play and should not involve in the due process of the law.

  9. OL, The Bhutanese,Bhutanomics are the culprits.

  10. Luungsir-gang Lad

    There are only two individuals so far who have ever resigned (or tried to resign) accepting moral responsibility. One tried to resign but was reinstated after a show/farce. The other resigned leaving his old office and ministry in a mess and after ACC and OAG got on his trail.

  11. let justice take its course. Let the innocent be free and guilty be punnished

  12. ACC finally caught those big fish. I would say that this land scam is just a beginning, there are many hidden scam lead by big bosses. ACC still need to hook those fishes. Good Luck ACC.

  13. Shame shame DPT and its supporter for being defensive

  14. I just heard on BBS that the suspension order by ACC is being over ruled by AGO. Why is that. It seems that law can be interpreted as how they want. Why corrupted people like Minjur and Jigme Tshultrim be supported. Its really hard to understand the law.

    • i dnt think OAG had overruled suspension order cz ACC is constitutional post holder ..and it have jurisdiction to prosecute acc. to there acts….and they also breached election ACTs…………..

    • Yeah ACC seem to have no legal experts in their team. It turns out that ACC has no authority to prosecute the case on their own since they might not be able to satisfy certain clauses stated in their Act.

      I only wish Dasho Neten is not acting under anybody’s pressure. I wish her all the best in fighting the corruption in just manner. With no fear or favor to any person or institution, big or small, poor or rich.

  15. Haha ACC will ultimately become  like a joker. 

  16. This case is neither about about siphoning millions of ngultrum from public exchequer nor about about grabbing land in prime area like thimphu, paro or phuentsholing. It is all about opposition and acc trying to find needle in the hay stack. It happened 12 or 13 years back when land price at Gyalposhing was almost  negligible…That time, people with good intention of developing eastern region pushed for town planning and almost everyone who could afford were requested to purchase the land. It was done by the committee formed legally and sold to the legal citizen of these country. Now, when land prices increases due to that policy, people started complaining about. These is nothing more than malicious  intention to sensationalize and discredit DPT government and members….ACC is also trying to justify their wasteful expenditure of investigating more than one year by trying to find tiny black dots on white paper….

  17. khashapa drukpa

    why personal ego is reflating as nation issue in Democratic world, am confused much with issue above please.

  18. ACC is being petty

  19. I am not saying OL and Bhutanese are guilty. What I am saying is they preempt, pressurize ACC to take actions, they let those accuse face media trial. If they are not guilty then OL and this paper must understands their ethical and moral responsibility they like others to follow…

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