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Thimphu dzongkhag court’s civil bench said it would not dismiss the case, after the Royal Insurance Corporation Ltd lawyer requested the court to dismiss it in its second submission on April 3.

The judge said that in the interest of the case, it was best not to dismiss the case. The litigants were told that dismissing it would delay the resolution of the case, as they would reappear with the issue sooner or later as the parties are discontent with numerous issues.

RICBL’s lawyer Phub Dorji submitted that because the former executive director Sonam Dorji has not appealed within the 10-day period mentioned in the service rules and regulations of the RICBL, it must be dismissed. Sonam Dorji’s lawyer challenged the submission saying that the rules don’t have jurisdiction outside the organisation.

The RICBL lawyer said that the service rules are in accordance with labour laws. “If the appeal period is not kept it would be difficult to implement the board’s decisions,” he said adding that in this case, the appeal period begins from the date of the issue of the relieving order and not from the date it was received.

While the plaintiff claimed that he was penalised under 2016 rules for alleged offences carried out before 2016, Phub Dorji said that the service rule 2016 supersedes the service rules of 2009.

Phub Dorji also snubbed the former executive director’s claim that he was relieved without following due process.

He said the board took a collective decision after deliberating for three days on the administrative lapses that the Anti-Corruption Commission investigation found. He said that the board gave him adequate opportunity to explain about the lapses.

Sonam Dorji denied knowing any of the charges against him. He said as per the service rules he should have been informed of the charges in writing and given a chance to clarify in writing, which he claims did not happen and is in breach of the service rules.

Phub Dorji said that such process would apply only for internal issues, where the company would institute a disciplinary committee and investigate. “But in this case, ACC had investigated and recommended the board to take actions which the board did after thorough deliberation,” he said.

He said considering the many years of service to the company, the board allowed the former executive director to retire with post retirement benefits. However, it had to withhold the benefits as the ACC filed criminal charges against him with Office of the Attorney General. The next hearing is today.

Tshering Palden

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