The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa submitted evidences against Dasho Benji
The evidences to prove that Dasho Paljor J. Dorji (alias Dasho Benji) had posted a defamatory statement against the Drukuk Phuensum Tshogpa, the plaintiff had submitted seven evidences at Bench V, Royal Court of Justice, Thimphu Dzongkhag Court on 12th February, 2015.
During the hearing, the plaintif had submitted the evidences to prove that the Dasho Benji had posted a defamatory statement against DPT, violated the public service code of conduct of requiring to remainin apolitical as a serving public servant, violating sections 317 and 3200 of the Penal Code of Bhutan and claimed that his freedom of speech is protect- ed by the Constitution.
Since the hearing is all about the evidences submitted by the plaintiff, during the hearing Dranpon Ugyen Tshering, Royal court of Justice said that the hearing is very important because it is about the evidences.
The seven evidences that the plaintiff had presented to the Bench V, Royal Court of Justice are a copy of the defamatory statement posted on Face book on 15th August, 2014 at 2:22 pm by the defendant in his own identity. While, the same exhibit also shows that the Opposition Leader Dr Pema Gyamtsho seeking clarification on how and who among DPT robbed the country to which there was no response from the defendant, till the day. Then the plaintiff filed the case in the Court. The defendant in his rebuttals submitted to the Court subsequently admitted posting the statement on face book.
In a subsequent submit, a copy of the opposition leader’s to the Prime Minister requesting for his intervention to take appropriate action against the defendant for posting a defamatory statement on face book and violating the code of public servants.
The Prime Minister in a letter dated 28th August, 2014 to the Opposition Leader has refused to take action against the defendant on the basis that the he holds public service position outside the purview of the government. It proves that the Prime Minister has refused to take action against the defendant as the advisor to the National Environment Commission (NEC) despite him being the chairperson of the NEC. This led to the plaintiff to initiate criminal charges against the defendant.
The next evidences submitted was that a copy of Royal Kasho from His Majesty the King addressed to the Chairman of the NEC appointing the defendant, Dasho Paljor Jigme Dorji as the Special Advisor (Migsel Drepeon) to the NEC. The Royal Command explic- itly includes the provision of office and personal assistant implying that the defendant is required to function within the purview of the NEC’s mandate and within the framework of the rules and regulations of the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC). Therefore, with due obeisance to His Majesty’s Kasho, they had submitted that regardless of the nature of appointment, all public and civil servants including the defendant, serve the Tsa-Wa- Sum at the pleasure of His Majesty the King.
The fifth evidences that the plaintiff had submitted was a copy of the Staff Directory (NEC and DEO) wherein the defendant is reflected as Lyonpo Paljor J. Dorji, Special Advisor to NEC, along with a civil servant personal assistant named Tashi Wangdi.
Followed by next evidences that has submitted was that a copy of the Commission Members of NEC, wherein the defendant is featured as Special Advisor to NEC and His Excellency Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, the Prime Minister as the Chairman of NEC. This shows that the Prime Minister as the Chairman of NEC has every authority to take appropriate action against the defendant.
The last evidences submitted was that a copy of the pay-slip of the defendant, employee ID no. 2010006, for the month of January, 2015 shows that he continues to receive the salary and allowances of a Deputy Minister of the Royal Government for a duration and nature that far exceeds any normal of short term contractual, elected, or a consultancy employment. The nature of employment is long term and very much an integral part of an agency that is governed by the rules and regulations of the RCSC.
DPT says that the above evidences conclusively prove that the defendant is a public servant receiving his pay and allowances from the consolidated fund. The interpretation of Article 30 (2), which states “The pay commission shall recommend to the government revisions in the structure of the salary, allowances, benefits and other emoluments of the RCSC, the Judiciary, the Members of Parliament and Local Governments, the Holders and Members of the Constitutional Offices and all other public servants with due regard to the Economy of the Kingdom and provision of this constitution”, clearly makes him a public servant.
During the hearing it also states that all public servants except the Members of National Assembly ( NA) are required to remain apolitical. It further says that having established that the defendant is a public servant and that too an integral part of an agency governed by the RCSC, the principle of natural justice requires that the defendant should follow the minimum code of conduct to remain apolitical.
During the submission it states that they cannot ignore the intention of the existing laws even though not explicit for a specific individual and make except ion for that individual. Laws require all public servants to be apolitical except for the members of the NA.
Since, the defendant is not a member of the NA, the minimum requirement of code of conduct to remain apolitical as per the RCSC act applies to the defendant.
Meanwhile, the evidences was submitted by Dupthob, MP from Bumdelling- Jamkhar and Nidup Zangpo, MP from Nubi- Tangsibji, representative of the plaintiff and the next hearing will be on 12 March, 2015.