PM asks OAG to not criticize or challenge ACC on Trongsa Land case

The Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay has written to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) asking them to refrain from criticizing the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), and to not challenge the ACC in the court of law on the Trongsa land case.

The OAG after reviewing the Trongsa Land case investigation by the ACC had said that the case does not merit prosecution.

The ACC in turn did not accept the OAG’s decision and filed the Trongsa Land case with the Trongsa District Court on February 15th 2017. The Trongsa District Court subsequently accepted the case to be prosecuted by ACC based on the ACC Act and the Supreme Court Judgment in the Gyelpozhing case laying out the conditions under which ACC can prosecute cases on its own.

The OAG had earlier said that the Trongsa land case would be a good chance to test the ‘constitutionality’ of the particular ACC Act section (128.3) that allowed them to prosecute cases on their own. The OAG was also studying the possibility of filing a Constitutional case in the High Court against the ACC’s right to prosecute cases like the Trongsa land case.

“Forget about criticizing and challenging the ACC I have asked the OAG to render full cooperation and support to the ACC in the case. If the ACC wants to prosecute then let them prosecute,” said Lyonchhen.

The PM said that it is important for the government to support the ACC.

Lyonchhen said that even if there are maters of Constitutional issues and judicial interpretation it should not be taken up when there is a case. He said the best time to resolve any and such issues is when there is no case in between.

The PM said that what is happening with the Trongsa Land case is the checks and balances at play with the OAG saying there is no case and the ACC subsequently filing the case.

Lyonchhen said that even though the OAG is the legal arm of the government the government’s instinctive reaction is to go with the ACC.

He said that it is important for the democratic institutions to work.

The main heart of the ACC’s Trongsa Land case is about an ACC investigation finding fraudulent transfer of government and private lands in Trongsa into the name of the former Trongsa Dzongda Lhab Dorji’s wife’s name facilitated by the Dzongda and other local government figures.

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