RBP did not have arrest warrant to detain Penjore on 6th May

It has emerged that when Penjore was detained or arrested on 6th of May by the Royal Bhutan Police, it was done without an arrest warrant at the time.

Section 165 of the Civil and Criminal Procedure Code of Bhutan (CCPC) lays out 14 conditions for arrest without warrant like physical assault, possession of illegal arms, dealing in drugs, army deserters, attempting to dishonor a woman, using false weights, damaging public property, being a wanted criminal, fishing and hunting on prohibited days, receiver of stolen property, obstructing the police in carrying out lawful duty, indecent exposure and neglecting to fence a dangerous structure,  but Penjore met none of them.

So questions will be raised on why exactly did the RBP arrest Penjore without following section 165 of the CCPC.

Here, a RBP official said he was arrested on the basis that he had been duly warned of action in 2015 by a court to not post such things on facebook or face action.

However, the RBP justification is not based in law as there was no contempt proceeding against Penjore to justify his arrest.

The RBP, however, produced him within 24 hours of his detention to the court who gave a total remand of 16 days with two extensions.

Here again, it is not clear by the court detained him for defamation which is a petty misdemeanor and there is no jail time if one pays Thrim-thue. 

A legal expert said that everything should be done as per the legal process. He said the RBP needs to see whether they should detain someone just because the OAG filed a complaint. He said the RBP has a sizeable legal team and their advice should have been sought before arresting Penjore without a warrant.

He said the locus standi of the OAG should also be looked into in this case.

The legal expert said that the court should serve as the ultimate check and balance and see whether it should allow these kinds of cases or not otherwise there can be a lot of frivolous litigations.

He said that even the courts should see if there are sufficient ground to arrest and detain a person like this.

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