Gyalpoizhing Case: Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday appealed to Supreme Court against High Court’s order that lifted the commission’s suspension orders issued to National Assembly speaker and home minister.
In its appeal letter to the High Court, ACC chairperson Dasho Neten Zangmo said the commission was appealing to Supreme Court based on section 109 of the civil and criminal procedure.
“(The commission) is not satisfied with the honourable court’s judgment,” she had written.
The High Court on November 30 issued the order, upholding its temporary restraining order of November 19, which it said would apply until the judgment on the ongoing Gyalpoizhing land case was passed.
ACC had issued suspension orders to the speaker and the home minister on November 15 for their alleged commission of criminal offences in the Gyalpoizhing land allotment and had charged the case to Mongar district court on November 13.
The High Court in its order said it was beyond the commissions purview, in particular section 167 (2) of the Anti-Corruption Act the commission cited to suspend the Parliament members.
Section 167 (2) of the ACC Act states that a public servant, charged with an offence under the Act should be suspended with effect from the date of the charge.
Provisions within the ACC Act, the court order had said, could not be applied retroactively as to suspend public servants, charged for offences before the Act came into effect.
It stated the commission could suspend public servants under the particular section only from the date of commencement of the Act, which was from July 5, 2011.
Section 167 (2) of the Act, the order had stated should be seen with the subsequent provision of 168 that requires the commission to inform the head of the concerned agency about suspending its officials.
Some law practitioners said ACC’s suspension orders against the two members of Parliament was an administrative procedure the commission was following and not a penalty it imposed.
He explained there was something called the procedural law and substantive law.
Procedural law, he said, provides the process that a case will go through anyway, whether it undergoes a trial or not.
“It basically determines how a proceeding with respect to enforcement of substantive law will transpire,” he said.
Substantive law, on the other hand, he said, defined how facts in a case would be handled and how the crime would be charged.
“ACC’s issuing suspension orders to the two Parliament members falls under procedural law,” he said. “When it actually comes to charging them, ACC will do it under the Land Act of 1979 and the 1953 Thrimzhung Chhenmo.”
By Samten Wangchuk