The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) last week wrote to the Prime Minister, asking him to follow due diligence on the alleged corruption case involving home minister Sherub Gyeltshen.

The ACC in January last year had implicated the home minister for an alleged false insurance claim worth Nu 226,546 from the Royal Insurance Corporation Limited (RICBL). The alleged insurance claim happened before joining politics.

Kuensel learnt that the ACC wrote to Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering as per the ACC Act and standard practice where a public servant is not allowed to occupy office while he or she is under investigation or until the outcome of the case. The case is  at the Thimphu dzongkhag court.

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering confirmed he received the ACC’s letter. The case, he said, is not related to the home minister’s current position and that there is no risk to obstruct justice or tamper with information.

The judgment, he said, would also be out anytime soon.  “So I unilaterally decided that nothing needs to be done on it now,” he said.

Section 167(2) of the ACC Act states, “A public servant who is charged with an offence under this Act shall be suspended with effect from the date of the charge till pending the outcome of any appeals.”

Section 167(1) states, “A public servant shall be suspended during the investigation if his or her attendance in his public office is likely to impede the investigation proceeding or when there is likelihood of available evidence being influenced, removed or tampered from the official record which may be under his or her subordinate’s guardianship.” 

In June 2017, the Royal Civil Service Commission also did not suspend the JDWNRH president Lhab Dorji, the former Trongsa dzongdag who ACC has accused of forgery, official misconduct and deception.

The former commission’s chairperson had said that Lhab Dorji, continuing his work has no conflict of interest concerning the case in Trongsa.

MB Subba