Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Trongsa land case: The third battle between ACC and OAG.

The third battle has began. The first the Gyalposhing case was won by ACC. The second Lhakhang Karpo case was restructured and won by OAG. Personally I felt from the start that the Haa Dzongdag case was more of administrative lapses which did not amount to criminal offence. 

The outcome of the two cases resulted in three high profile political victims. I call them political victims because if the present stand taken by OAG is constitutionally correct then Gyalposhing court case should not have happened. And so the former Speaker and the former Home Minister would be MPs today. And in case of Lhakhang Karpo, the main defendant the then Foreign Minister though ultimately declared innocent had paid a heavy political price. The trial process cost him his ministerial berth.

I kind of recall that Supreme Court had denied ACC to takeover the Lhakhang Karpo case prosecution. After the Dzongkhag Court ruling,  ACC was unhappy with the approach adopted by OAG ( diluting the charges against the defendants ). The same kind of argument as in this Trongsa land case was expressed by ACC then.

As a fellow citizen, I feel it is high time that a proper constitutional ruling is made to draw the line as thin as it maybe between ACC and OAG.  The political victims whether high profile or low profile are equal citizens of the Kingdom and  therefore equal subjects of the same King. We are all bound by the same laws of the land and  should not be additionally  subjected to the whims and personal prejudices of those at ACC or OAG.

When we view this tussle between ACC and OAG, it is important that we do so  with the objective of preserving and protecting fair and impartial investigative and  judicial processes and not base our views on who are being affected or not affected in a particular case.

In general if we believe that the nation has a reliable judicial system then it should not matter who prosecutes the case. However, in cases where ACC takes up prosecution of a case dropped by OAG and loses then the defendants must be adequately compensated. Besides their normal entitlement of salary or daily wage, there has to be substantial monetary award to cover defamation injuries.

Both ACC and OAG cannot be construed as being totally free from political influences or personal prejudices. So there are possibilities where ACC may drop or take up an  investigation for reasons other than just lack of evidence or existence of credible evidence of wrong doing. . And OAG too could favour alleged perpetrators by declaring that the case does not warrant prosecution or even dilute the charges against the defendants. 

Therefore, the Supreme Court has to ponder over more than just the black and white words in the Constitution. The Apex Body need to consider at depth and width all the colours and implications for the ultimate well being of a nation state and the larger goal of delivering justice over preserving power or autonomy.   

1 comment:

  1. ACC and OAG is playing football to intertain the politician, bureaucrats and judiciary.