Department of Local Governance’s Director General Lungten Dorji on October 3 issued an order to Thimphu dzongkhag administration to suspend Chang Gup Kanjur.

After the Office the Attorney General (OAG) charged the gup in Thimphu dzongkhag court for his alleged involvement in a state land encroachment case on September 14, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) wrote to the department to take administrative action.

In case a public official is charged for or convicted of an offence under ACC Act 2011, the commission should inform the head of the agency for necessary disciplinary action against the public servant as required by laws.

The section 167 (2) of the 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”.

Lungten Dorji said the ministry decided to suspend Kanjur after careful consideration.

The OAG charged eight persons including a former Chang gup and the incumbent gup, Kanjur, for alleged encroachment and illegal regularisation of state land in Thimphu.

The alleged main culprit in the case, Mindu Dorji, is charged for alleged fraudulent measurement of 63.12 decimal of land between Soridrag and Kashingbagor in Babesa, Thimphu in 2000.

Gup Kanjur and the seven individuals allegedly signed the document testifying falsely that the land Mindu Dorji bought from a woman, Kuenga Choden was at the site, which was actually state land.

The eight individuals are charged with forgery under the Thrimzhung Chenmo section Na 1 and 2.

If convicted, they could face imprisonment between three months and six years.

The ACC discovered the alleged crime sometime between 2012 and 2015 when it was investigating another encroachment and illegal regularisation of state land involving a former assistant survey officer of the erstwhile Thimphu City Corporation.

Tshering Palden and  Tashi Dema