In a positive development, the Supreme Court has enforced its judgment on the Changlo case.
In late September, this paper brought to light the case of Changlo from Paro who complained that the Supreme Court was not enforcing its own judgment on an influential former Lam to pay him the remaining Nu 1.85 mn of a failed apartment sale.
He also said the court had passed two judgments in his case by changing the first judgment to lower the amount of money.
In early November, Changlo approached the Supreme Court once again about the case. The Supreme Court informed Changlo that they had given a final deadline to the former Lam by 23rd November.
With the payment still not made, Changlo approached the Supreme Court on 1st December and the court informed that an arrest order had been given to the police.
The police took Changlo’s help to identify the residence of the former Lam and arrested him on 1st December Friday.
On Monday 4th December Changlo was called by the Supreme Court where a relative of the Lam offered Nu 500,000 and requested two more months to pay the remaining amount.
Changlo agreed and the former Lam was released after 3 days in prison.
Changlo had earlier said that the former Lam has more than enough assets like a building in Mothithang, land in Semtokha and land and house in Paro to pay the amount but had not been serious about paying as the Court had not enforced its judgment.
Changlo said that he is happy that the Supreme Court implemented its verdict in the case. He also thanked the paper for bringing his case to light which he felt had a major impact.
The former Lam in 2018 needed money and so he offered to sell an apartment from his building in Mothithang to Changlo and took Nu 3.7 mn in advance money but later reneged on the deal and also did not pay back the money.
Changlo took the case to Paro Court where the former Lam agreed to pay the Nu 3.7 mn advance but not the interest due for the 3 months at the permitted court rate.
The case reached its natural culmination when a full bench Supreme Court verdict on 27th April 2022 stating that the former Lam had to pay a total amount of 5.8 mn which included the 3.7 mn and the permissible interest rate calculated by the court on it since the signing of the Genja on 6th July 2018 to the final day of the verdict in 2022.
To Changlo’s shock he was called to the Supreme Court again on 25th August 2022 and was given a new verdict from the Supreme Court where the amount was reduced from Nu 5.8 mn to Nu 4.8 mn.
He was told that Lam Gyeltshen after the verdict had appealed to the court and so the amount had been reduced.
The Supreme Court has said that as per the Constitution it can revisit its judgements in certain cases.
As per the final verdict the Lam was supposed to pay him Nu 4.8 mn on 25th September 2022 but the Lam paid only a partial amount of 2 mn on 22nd September 2022 and Changlo said the Supreme Court without asking him allowed the Lam a two-month extension to pay the remaining amount.
On 2nd December 2022, the Lam only paid Nu 1 mn and again without Changlo’s presence the Lam was given another month till 2 January 2023 to pay the rest of the money which amounted to Nu 1.85 mn.
Since the Lam didn’t pay the rest of the money in the given time period Changlo approached the court on 30th January 2023 and the Justice issued an order to the Lam to pay by 15 February 2023 asking him to pay the remaining amount or face legal consequences.
The Lam did not pay and Changlo again approached the court who on 4th April 2023 issued one more order asking him to pay by 17 April 2023 or bear the legal consequences.
However, when Changlo after a few days approached the court he was told a further one-month deferment was given from 21st April 2023 onwards. Changlo waited for the deferment period to be over and he still not did not get his money and his several letters and pleas, including to the Grievance Unit, fell on deaf ears.
With no date given by which he would get his money or the Supreme Court would enforce its judgment he approached this paper in late September.
The enforcement of the Judgment by the Supreme Court helps preserve the integrity of the Supreme Court Judgments and also the rule of law.