Govt. won’t interfere in Home Minister’s court proceedings – PM

Headline National News

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering maintained that the government will not interfere in judiciary proceedings of the Home Minister’s case because the appeal system is not completed during the 30th press meet yesterday,

Home Minister Dasho Sherub Gyeltshen was convicted last month by the Thimphu dzongkhag court’s criminal bench I to two months in prison for claiming false vehicle insurance worth Nu 226,546 in 2016.

During the press meet, the PM was also apprised of a similar case that emerged in 2015 involving former foreign minister Rinzin Dorje, who was acquitted by the Haa court in the Lhakhang Karpo case and was convicted by the High Court for a year in prison for misusing Dzongkhag DCM truck to transport his private timber from Haa to Thimphu. The Supreme Court later acquitted him. The minister was removed from the cabinet in July 2015 after he was granted authorized leave.

However, Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering said there are two aspects while comparing the former foreign minister to the Home Minister’s case.

“Head-to-head comparison is not being seen. When court proceedings were done, the former foreign minister was removed and was asked to step down, that was at the end of the final verdict,” he added.

Additionally, Lyonchhen said the current and the last case is different as the current case is ongoing, adding that although the Dzongkhag court has found the Home Minister guilty he can approach the higher courts.

“Until that is finished I don’t have any formal stand on this,” Lyonchhen said, adding that he will take decision logically, together with the heart and brain.

“You send your brain ahead, you will be so mathematical, will go rule based; you send your heart only, again it will be driven by compassion,” Lyonchhen added.

Additionally, the PM said that it will also depend on Home Minister what he wants to do and how he wants to take because it is not the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa’s (DNT) case but it is his that started way before he became a minister.

“What will happen, we will decide. Every day we can decide, scenario might change, and legally once appealed to higher court, he is not guilty and the appeal system has not been completed,” the PM said.

Meanwhile, DNT, in the case of former foreign minister, issued a press release in 2015 stating then that the suspension of the minister should have come earlier to the court verdict.

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu

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