Thinley Namgay  

The High Court (HC) conducted the first hearing of the defamation case between Penjore and the Police yesterday.

Penjore had appealed to the HC on June 8 after the Thimphu Dzongkhag Court decided in his favour on May 30.

Penjore mentioned in the appeal letter that if there are lapses from the officials working for the country and the people, there is a question of fixing accountability for them, unlike ordinary citizens.

He said that seven officials of the Bhutan National Bank Limited (BNBL), including its chief executive officer, should be held accountable for the official misconduct during the staff recruitment in 2017 based on the report submitted by police to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).

However, Penjore said the  OAG didn’t charge BNBL officials, but the 12 innocent support staff who got the job in the BNBL through fake class VIII certificates were made to resign. “It will set a bad precedent for the future.”

“Why the OAG didn’t report the official misconduct of BNBL officials to the court. It was evident that there are accountability lapses on BNBL officials and they should be charged,” Penjore stated in the appeal letter.

Penjore has also asked for compensation for detaining him for 16 days by the police last year.  HC ordered the police to submit their rebuttal on July 8.

On May 30, the Thimphu dzongkhag court passed the judgment clearing Penjore of defamation charges filed by the police in November 2021.

The dzongkhag court ruled that the information written by Penjore on his Facebook account was not fake and that his posts were in the interest of the public.

The judgment stated that Penjore has posted the truth on Facebook about the case where OAG dismissed the allegation on the BNBL executive committee members. The police investigation report revealed that BNBL executive committee members were involved in the unlawful recruitment of 12 supporting staff in 2017. The dzongkhag court said that Penjore as an individual has the right to reveal the truth.

The dzongkhag court dismissed the OAG’s sedition case against Penjore on June 18 last year.