Ignorance of Law vs. Ignoring the Law
In response to the letter of Drangpon Sangay Khandu of Bumthang dated 19th July in Bhutan Times.
First and foremost I would like to thank him for making the public aware of certain laws but I would also like to take this opportunity to draw his attention to certain events that unfolded during the past few months.
1. Not one but two cases of false imprisonment were uncovered by the news papers. Though the victims were compensated, the judiciary as far as I am aware did not play any meaningful role.
2. The Chief of Police ordered a board of enquiry, whereby accused officers were found not to be guilty of torture. This enquiry was illegal according to section 365. “A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of unauthorized hearing, if the defendant is not lawfully authorized to hear a case but hears a case and orders a sentence and/ or an award of damages or fine or other punishment”. Since this was a case of unlawful detainment and the officers were accused of torturing the victim the case automatically becomes a criminal case, whereby only the courts are authorized to pass judgment on such matters. The Judiciary kept silent.
3. Even though these cases directly involved the Fundamental Rights of an individual, the guardians of the Constitution chose to close its eyes.
4. In accordance to section 430. “The defendant shall be guilty of the offence of failure to report a crime, if the defendant, who witnesses any person committing a crime, does not report it to the lawful authority”. Though reported, the judiciary chose to cover it ears.
5. In accordance to section 434. “A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of abandonment of a person in danger, if the defendant fails to render assistant to a person, who found wounded or in danger of dying and the assistance could be rendered without risk of bodily injury to the defendant”. As the Constitution is the living soul and mother of all laws. The Judiciary failed to render assistance even though it is it’s first and foremost responsibility.
6. Though it was said that the judiciary will act strongly as no person is above the law, the person must first file such case. Who actually has the courage to file such a case but once it is public knowledge it is the responsibility of the State, especially if it is criminal act to press charges. Not one judge or Dasho made a sound, the silence was deafening.
Therefore, I would like to appeal to our Dashos in uniform and in Kabney/patang that the outfit you are wearing is not only a batch of distinction and achievement but more importantly it is also a reminder of your obligation and the burden of responsibility you must shoulder.
Let me also remind you that not only did you take an oath to serve the Tsa Wa Sum but you are also handsomely paid to carry out your duties.
Last but not the least, if Dasho Drangpon get another shiver in his spine, let it be in anger that members within the system willfully ignore the law instead of getting worked up with two ignorant ladies wanting a piece of land to call their own.
Finally, Dasho should not have cast a shadow on the sacred covenant between the people and our Dharma King, for He is our last refuge our final judge and benefactor.
Palden Drukpa Gyelo. Jigme Tshultim.Jr
Posted here as Bhutan Times copped-out.