Staff reporter

The Parliament’s human rights and foreign relations committee members met about five times to review and discuss the grievances an individual submitted to the Speaker.

A man, popularly known as ‘Penjore Penjore’ on Facebook, submitted a petition to the Speaker claiming that the police had arbitrarily arrested him based on the complaints lodged by Attorney General Lungten Dubgyur and violated his human rights.

Penjore said he wanted a parliamentary investigation into his arbitrary detention and wanted action taken against the attorney general and everyone involved in his arbitrary detention. “I wanted the Parliament to find out who is right or wrong.”

The Speaker assigned the human rights and foreign relations committee to review the matter and provide comments.

The committee’s chairperson, Passang Dorji (PhD), said they are reviewing the case and consulting relevant agencies, including the public. “But the committee is looking at the issue holistically and not just about an individual case.”

He said the committee is reviewing the system of how people are detained and interrogated. “We are looking into the procedures of detention in general.”

MP Passang Dorji said after consulting all relevant agencies, the committee will provide recommendations for legislative changes or improvements as the National Assembly would deliberate on the Police (Amendment) Bill in the upcoming session. “Penjore’s case would be a point of reference, as it came to the public domain and the committee officially.”

He said the committee would submit a report of the findings on Penjore’s grievances to the Speaker once they complete the consultation. “The NA might issue a recommendation based on the report, but we cannot pass a judgment on who is right or wrong. That’s is the court or judiciary’s mandate.”

The chairperson also clarified that the committee only consults relevant agencies and do not summon Attorney General or police officers as some media reported.

Meanwhile, police detained Penjore on May 6 this year after he wrote a Facebook post on May 4, asking the AG and BNB officials to resign.

OAG, in a press release issued after the detention, claimed Penjore communicated false and distorted information against officials and institutions, which falls under the purview of defamation, libel, contempt of judicial authorities and other charges.

He was later charged for sedition. The court dismissed the case, primarily for changing the charges presented before the court for his arrest warrant and while submitting the formal charges.

The court also then stated that OAG and the state must not be treated as the same, as OAG reflected the case as ‘The State vs Penjore’.