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ACC presents evidence to court

Against Dechen Singye, then municipal building inspector, and member secretary of  land allotment committee

Land Allotment Case: Mongar drangpon read out the evidence Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) presented the court against Dechen Singye, during what the court called the “evidence hearing” yesterday.

So far, whatever cases were presented and rebutted were verbal, but this time, ACC provided evidence to the judge, who read it out in presence of both ACC officials and Dechen Singye.

One of the main arguments, Dechen Singye held on to, was that he only represented his sister, who was in Paro and wanted to acquire a plot at Gyalpoizhing, and that she could not travel the distance to fulfill the processes in person.

He said that he had given his thumb impressions on her behalf, with verbal authorisation from her over the telephone, and had his wife pick during the lucky draw of the plot they later acquired.

ACC, through its investigation, revealed to the court that they found two statements in relation to this argument.

While one statement, of Dechen Singye’s sister to ACC said she had actually come to Gyalpoizhing from Paro, fulfilled formalities to acquire a plot at Gyalpoizhing, acquired it and left.

The second letter, however, contradicted that, but matched what Dechen Singye had always claimed to the court, that since she could not make it in person to Gyalpoizhing, she had asked her brother to apply for a plot on her behalf, and represent her in the processes entailed.

Besides, plots were supposed to be allocated, firstly to people legally operating business in Gyalpoizhing, then to local residents in the area, before inviting people from other parts of the country to buy what plots remained.

ACC’s evidence also said the state failed to understand why the defendant had not signed the application, appending his own signature.

“The defendant used a thumb impression instead, so it would appear as though it was his sister’s, which would then legitimise her application,” it said.

It also pointed out that, while other applicants, who had sent their representatives, were marked as “represented by”, in his sister’s case, instead of such a remark, he had inserted a plot number.

“This act clearly indicates the defendant’s intention to deceive the government,” ACC officials had said. “Therefore, he has committed an offence.”

ACC evidence also showed that the defendant had paid for the plot and, no sooner than he bought the plot, looked for a buyer, engaged in negotiations and sold it.

Dechen Singye was Mongar municipal committee’s building inspector in 2002, and a member secretary of the land allotment committee.

As the committee member secretary, he compiled a list of individuals possessing license and running shops, and he was the one, who went around Gyalpoizhing, Kurizampa and Lingmithang, to prepare a list of license holders for allotment of plots.

He had signed, it said, allotment of 19 commercial plots in the first phase, 26 in the second and 41 residential plots in the third phase in 2001.

Dechen Singye has been booked under Na 1-2 of Thrimzhung Chhenmo.

The court will give its closing statement today.

By Dechen Tshering, Mongar

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