Lhuentse dzongkhag court passed a judgment of adjudication without court proceedings in the case involving villagers of Kamdar chiwog in Maenbi, Lhuentse.

It also imposed a fine of Nu 100,000 to Sherab Dema in accordance with the mutual agreement drawn between five representatives of Kamdar chiwog residents and Sherab Dema, who was alleged of refusing to contribute as dropoen (lead dancer) in the community festival.

The five representatives of 24 households in Kamdar chiwog in Maenbi gewog took Sherab Dema to court in August, alleging that she refused to contribute as dropoen although it was the responsibility of her household to lead the dance festival, known as drochhung.

The court passed the judgment without trial on September 21 after providing the opportunity for the litigants to come to a mutual agreement.

It was learnt that Sherab Dema went to the representatives of the community and requested to resolve the issue mutually and agreed to pay the compensation. The judgment stated that the court would only implement the agreement.

Sherab Dema, after paying a compensation of Nu 100,000 will not have to contribute in the drochhung henceforth. Villagers will have to find a substitute dropoen and continue the dancing festival tradition.

Drochhung used to be held annually by the three chiwogs of Kamdar, Tangmachu and Phagedung. It was, however, not observed for the last four years and when Maenbi gewog revived the tradition this year, Tangmachu and Phagedung chiwogs organised the festival but Kamdar chiwog could not, since Sherab Dema’s family, as the lead dancer, refused to participate.

When the community took Sherab Dema to the gewog administration and then to the court, she rebutted that the community is bullying her. She also claimed that her father contributed as a dropoen throughout his life and when he is old and physically challenged, the community is dragging them to court.

She also submitted that there are no male members in the family except her father and he is too old to dance.

The community members explained that her family member has to be the dropoen because it was a form of tax they had to pay for owning land.

The court judgment stated that if any of the parties try to raise the issue again, they will be held for contempt of court, imprisoned for three months and imposed a fine of Nu 1,000.

It also stated that during the process of rebuttal, there is a system that parties can either withdraw the case or come to a consensus. “The agreement between the party is in accordance with the rule of law.”

Tashi Phuntsho