Nima Wangdi

A man from Genekha, Thimphu, Drukpa Kinley fought a court case for his family-owned land at Genekha in Thimphu but lost it completely at the Supreme Court (SC) in June.

SC passed judgment on June 30 stating that the transaction of the land was legal and his complaint of being unaware of the matter could not be entertained.

The kamzhing (Dry land) 1.794 acres registered under Drukpa Kinley’s mother’s name at Genekha was exchanged with a one-acre wetland in Gaseng Tshowom in Wangdue, which was registered under another person’s name, who defended the transaction as legal. The Thram had also been transferred when Drukpa Kinley came to know about it.

Drukpa Kinley, the eldest of the six siblings, said, “The land may have been transacted but the documents and forged thumbprints could not be verified. Thumbprints were initially sent for forensic tests with the Royal Bhutan Police for which the result came out neutral.”

He said that there were two clearances dated differently, one with the national land commission (NLC) and the other that the defendant submitted to the court. He said the clearance with the NLC contained a witness, who is the defendant’s daughter and it is unacceptable by law. The copy the defendant submitted to the court did not contain a witness.

He said that for any transaction of the family-owned land clearance from all the family members must be sought. “None of my siblings including me gave the clearance but both the clearances have all thumbprints of my family members.”

He said that the land transaction agreement also contained mismatching names of the witnesses.

He said that the court did not even question the legitimacy of the two types of clearances dated differently.

The judgment also stated that, as per the Land Act, the land transaction case was kept with the gewog office for one month on hold in case there were objections from the family members. None of the family members has filed a complaint to any relevant agency according to the judgment.

Drukpa Kinley said none of the family members was aware of the land having been exchanged and there was no way they could object.

Drukpa Kinley lost the case at the dzongkhag court, which found that the transaction was legitimate. While he appealed to the High Court (HC), the ruling was in his favour stating that the family members were not consulted during the land transaction. However, he lost again when the defendant or the person who exchanged the land appealed to the Supreme Court.