Update: The Prime Minister said that the appeal of a freelance journalist calling for an enquiry against the Chief justice of Bhutan doesn’t merit the government’s intervention.

The freelance journalist, Namgay Zam has accused the Chief Justice of prima facie, for throwing his legal opinion on the ongoing defamation case that involves her, in a gathering of judges. She has been taken to court by a businessman who is accusing her of defaming him.

In an informal meeting with the Prime Minister yesterday, Lyonchoen said that the Constitution provides for separation of powers and that everyone must respect that.

“In a young democracy it is imperative that the separate institutions are respected,” he said, adding be it the election commission or the media, independence of the institutions should be protected. “The government should not undermine these very important institutions.”

However, he said if there is corrupt practices or a cause for alarm, the government cannot sit idle. In such cases, he said the legislative body can call for impeachment. But he said that the petition does not talk about impeachment and rather calls for an enquiry.

“If the allegations are of such nature that unless the government acts, the very institution of judiciary would be compromised, then obviously we must, within the ambit of the Constitution,” Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay said.

While the Prime Minister is concerned about one person’s view and allegations on the judiciary, he said that he is more concerned about the independence of the judiciary.

Tshering Dorji