Staff Reporter

To keep the High Court functioning in the light of three justices demitting recently, the Supreme Court recently initiated an interim measure where all the four Benches of the appeal court will keep functioning.

After three judges completed their 10-year term last month, the High Court is left with only four justices hampering judicial services.

In the interim measure, all three Benches will have one drangpons each. Justice Pema Rinzin is assigned to Bench I, Justice Pema Wangchuk to Bench II, Justice Kinley Dorji to Bench III and Justice Duba Dukpa will preside over cases in the Larger Bench along with two justices.

Appeals from Bench I will be heard by justices of Bench II and III, appeals from Bench II will be heard by justices I and III and appeals from Bench III will be heard by justices of Bench I and II. This arrangement enables the current four justices to meet the quorum of three justices in the Larger Bench.

The arrangement is only until the High Court is reconstituted with the full nine justices, according to the Acting Chief Justice of Bhutan.

As of today, there are more than 600 appeal cases pending at the High Court.

The High Court, the court of appeal from the dzongkhag courts should comprise of a Chief Justice and eight drangpons, according to the Constitution. The High Court is today short of five justices without a Chief Justice and the Supreme Court by two justices.