The land scam in Trongsa

The land scam in Trongsa which happened between 2002 and 2006 with the active support and guidance of the former Trongsa Dzongda is another stark reminder of the challenges of corruption.

The blatant way, in which the former Dzongda helped his wife, a local school principal, to buy land at a government rate from private landowners, who thought their land was being acquired by the government, shows the level of corruption.

Multiple forgeries including faking the signatures of the private landowners and tampering with land records by local officials says a lot about the respect for the law.

The deceptions and forgery in the scam even escaped the attention of the then Trongsa Dzongkhag court. The court not only transferred the ownership without the knowledge of the private landowners but also ruled against one when she came seeking for justice.

The fact that the hapless and illiterate litigant accused the Dzongda’s wife may not have escaped the attention of the court. The court’s behavior and judgment or rather the lack of it shows the vulnerability and imperfection of the legal system.

In spite of engaging in such unsavory and illegal behavior the former Trongsa Dzongda seems to have risen in the ranks to today be the President of Bhutan’s main referral hospital in Thimphu, in-charge of the health and well being of Bhutanese citizens.

It is good that the ACC has dug out this well hidden scam.

A historic moment in Bhutan was in December 2005 when His Majesty the Fourth King issued a Kasho for the formation of the ACC.

In the Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s own words “If appropriate steps are not taken now to stop this trend, it (corruption) will lead very serious problems in the future, for both the government and the people, in our country with a very small population.”

‘The highest probable risk to development that I foresee is corruption’. 

His Majesty the King during the 107th National Day

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