The Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa sub­mit­ted ev­i­dences against Dasho Benji

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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.

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