Gyalpoizhing Land Case: As of last evening most of the defendants who were sentenced in connection with the Gyalpoizhing land allotment case were yet to decide whether to appeal the verdict passed on March 8.
National Assembly Speaker Jigme Tshultim said he cannot comment since he was still waiting to receive his verdict from Mongar. “I haven’t seen the verdict,” he said last evening when contacted over telephone.
The 511-page verdict was given to the Speaker’s representative, who said that he would be sending it today through the home minister’s legal representative.
The trial court sentenced the Speaker to two and a half years in prison for deception and official misconduct. He was found guilty of violating Na 1-2 of Thrimzhung Chhenmo, which constitutes offenses of forgery, deception, and impersonation. The speaker also failed to abide by His Majesty’s kasho issued on March 31, 1987, and the allotment criteria and guidelines that works and human settlement ministry set.
Lyonpo Minjur Dorji could not be contacted for comments but his legal representative, Jamyang Sherab Wangdi, who is coming to Thimphu today from Trashigang, said he needs to discuss with Lyonpo whether to appeal or not. Lyonpo Minjur was given one year sentence for not exercising his responsibility with due diligence while allotting plots in Gyalpoizhing town.
Former municipal building inspector and member secretary of Gyalpoizhing land allotment committee, Dechen Singye, who was given one year sentence for violating Na 1-2 of Thrimzhung Chhenmo, said that he hasn’t decided yet. “I lack legal background I don’t know whether I have grounds for appeal,” he told Kuensel. “Even if I appeal to higher court I don’t have confidence.”
He was found guilty of allotting a plot to his sister Dechen Zangmo, who was not eligible.
Other 13 plot allotment committee members between 2005 and 2006, when Lyonpo Minjur Dorji was the dzongda, were also sentenced to a year in prison, with the option to pay thrimthue in lieu of prison term.
Former chimi of Mongar town and also the plot allotment committee member, Namgangla, said that although he was not satisfied with the verdict, which gave him the same prison term as the chairman, he would follow Lyonpo Minjur. “If the home minister appeals I will also do the same,” he said.
Meanwhile, people have already started introspecting the Gyalpoizhing case, Phojikha land case and the Thimphu taxi parking ownership.
“The nature of all three cases are same,” a legal expert said.
By Rinzin Wangchuk with Dechen Tshering in