Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has reconfirmed that the 2.80-acre land in Dagapela that Sabitara Chuwan claimed as inherited land since 1994 is government land.

The commission concluded that her complaint was “baseless”.

Sabitara Chuwan, a resident of Goshi Gewog, lodged a compliant with the ACC in 2016. She said that Phuntsho, a local resident, had constructed a house on her land.

In her complaint letter to ACC, Sabitara Chuwan said that a house being built on a disputed land and that she had approached every office for intervention.

“ACC is my last hope. I have to reclaim my ancestral land,” Sabitara Chuwan said, adding that the land was inherited by her husband from his father.

ACC investigation team has established that Sabitara Chuwan owns a 3.20-acre land and her brother-in-law, Chhatra Bahadur Chuwan, who moved to Changkha Gewog in the 1980s, owned land measuring 2.80 acres in Dagapela.

Chhatra Bahadur Chuwan had surrendered his  land to the government and had received compensation of Nu 11,200 in 1992. The land then was declared as government land when new Sathram was compiled in 2004.

Sabitara Chuwan said that she had been cultivating the land until the dzongkhag administration advised her not to in 2008.

Dzongkhag forestry office then filed the case to Dagana’s dzongkhag court and the court ruled in favour of plaintiff on July 16, 2008. The judgment stated that the land was already surrendered to the state in 1992 and was declared that Sabitara Chuwan was not the legitimate owner of the land.

The court also fined her for the encroachment. Sabitara Chuwan then appealed to the High Court, which upheld the lower court’s ruling.

The investigation also revealed that the dispute settlement committee during the cadastral resurveying programme (NCRP) on September 10, 2014 confirmed that Sabitara Chuwan is not the rightful owner of the land.

The land on which Phuntsho constructed a house falls neither on the boundary of Sabitara Chuwan’s land, nor on the land surrendered to government.

ACC report said there was no record of the land being granted as kidu to Sabitara Chuwan.

Rinzin Wangchuk