Thimphu tops number of court cases

There was an increase of 5,870 registered cases across the country, an increase by 40.12%

The highest number of court cases was recorded in the capital last year, followed by Phuntsholing and Paro, as per the Annual Report of the Judiciary, 2013.

While 1,054 cases were brought forward from 2012, there were 19,653 new cases registered within the year. 6,791 cases were recorded in Thimphu, 1,317 cases in Phuntsholing and 1,095 in Paro.

Judgments and verdicts have been passed on 19,304 cases of which 12,857 cases were decided within 108 days.

305 cases were appealed to the High Court. 226 cases have further appealed to the Supreme Court, of which 44 cases were admitted. Out of 1,403 pending cases, 68 cases have been pending beyond one year.

There was an increase of 5,870 registered cases, an increase by 40.12%. There were 6,133 monetary cases followed by 4,696 matrimonial cases, excluding the application for marriage certificates.

The Annual Report of the Judiciary began its first publication in 1992 and is presented during every first week of a new year.

The report states, “Together, with dedicated members of the Judiciary, we took giant steps in clearing the backlog cases, human resource development, information technology, Dzongkha usage and infrastructural development in 1991. Successive years have vindicated that commitment and we have triumphed over the adversities.”

It said, “Firstly, major sweeping reforms under the command and guidance of His Majesty nullified the delays and cleared the backlog of cases. Secondly, the Judiciary has strategically invested in legally qualified judges with LLM and PhD degrees without replacing the lay judges completely, sourcing the wisdom of the past. Thirdly, use of information technology is pervasive in the Judiciary and it has enabled the courts to eliminate the manual processes of cause list generation analysis. Fourthly, the Judiciary has always strived to promote Dzongkha, in keeping with the national policy.”

It also states that appeals are disposed off timely and judgments have become more learned. “However, appeal system may require further reforms. False ideas and vain expectations along with frivolous appeals should not permit to negate the legitimacy and efficacy of the appeal system. Excessive and indiscriminate access would invariably over burden the Supreme Court and High Court in due course of time,” the report stated.

The report also mentioned that any move to review the sentencing structure must be approached with caution. “The sole objective of law is to stamp out criminal proclivity. Punishment ought to fit the crime, however, in practice, sentences are determined largely by mitigating and aggravating circumstances. His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo commented that Judges must apply their minds with rationality, otherwise computers will suffice, which may not render justice,” the report stated.

The annual report marks the beginning of a new journey, into change of improved standards of legal service, upgraded technological solution and innovate ideas. Consequently, e-litigation system will be introduced which is expected to take the use of electronic tools in litigation to a higher level thereby, reducing inefficiencies and preventing manipulation.


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